Barry County Sheriff speaks to Alpena GOP at ACC

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf talks to a crowd at Alpena Community College on Thursday night. Leaf has been investigating possible election fraud in Michigan since shortly after the 2020 election. Michigan’s Republican-led Senate Oversight Committee spent months investigating the election and found no evidence of widespread fraud, saying voters should be confident the results are accurate.

ALPENA — In Michigan, Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf is a popular figure to those who believe the 2020 presidential election was rigged and stolen from President Donald Trump and demand investigations into alleged election misconduct.

On Thursday, the Alpena County Republican Party hosted an event at Alpena Community College where Leaf and others who work alongside him to uncover evidence of a rigged election spoke to local Republicans.

Independent Election Investigator Scott Aughney — who is also running for the state chair for the Republican party — said Leaf, Aughney’s team and the Election Integrity Force have been studying data and Michigan law and recently found a way to hold those they believed deceived the public on election security, accountable, including the Michigan Bureau of Elections and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Aughney is criss-crossing the state recruiting sheriffs to take complaints from voters in their counties under state law MCL 750.248, which can bring criminal charges to someone who falsely makes, alters, forges, maintain false records or counterfeits a public record, or a certificate, or returns.

Aughney said the law allows the county government to bring legal action against state officials because of the current condition of the voter roll and because those who have the ability in Lansing to clean it up haven’t.

During his presentation, Aughney displayed copies of his voting record from the Bureau of Elections and one from his county clerk’s office. His local voting record shows he voted in different jurisdictions each time he moved also included timestamps indicating the day and time he voted.

His voting record from the state showed he always voted in the same place each time, even when he didn’t live there.

Aughney said that is the case for the voting record for anyone who legally voted in different municipalities when they moved.

“Every single one of them,” he said.

Aughney asked the sheriffs to begin taking criminal complaints from constituents who believe they were victims of election fraud. He said all people have to do is acquire their voting record from their county clerk, and his team will help them get the voting data from the state’s voting roll.

Once a person has their records in hand, a person should be able to turn the evidence over to their local sheriff or who will investigate and possibly forward it to the prosecutor, Aughney said.

Aughney said some sheriffs in the state have stepped up to help, but many are still hesitant because of potential blowback from officials in Lansing.

Alpena County Sheriff Erik Smith was at the event and after it he said he was still digesting what he learned.

If a county prosecutor believes the evidence is strong enough to convict, MCL 750.248 allows them to do so. Aughney said it is important to get as many counties on board as possible.

JoAnne Bakale, an investigator from the Election Integrity Force, said Michigan voter rolls are way out of whack and said Benson keeps claiming they are in good shape and accurate.

Bakale said Michigan’s voter roll shows 105% of the voting age population in the state. She said that equates to about 700,000 votes.

Just before the end of the presentation, Leaf made his case. He explained what he has learned during his investigation and he claimed there has been constant resistance from those in Lansing and Washinton who don’t want the truth about the election to be known.

Leaf said there is more evidence of election interference and faulty data, but that won’t be shared publicly until a case is brought against those who were behind it.

The Republican-led Michigan Senate Oversight Committee spent months investigating the 2020 election and found no evidence of widespread fraud, saying voters should be confident the results are accurate.

President Trump’s Justice Department also deemed the election results were accurate and that President Joe Biden won.

Since the election, Leaf has made headlines by petitioning courts in an effort to seize election equipment, hired investigators to question local clerks about election processes and demanded county election records.

Last April, police raided the Irving Township Hall in Barry County and seized a voting tabulator after an “unpermitted individual” was allegedly allowed to access the machine.

It’s not clear if Leaf is linked to that unauthorized access, but his attorney claims in a new lawsuit filed in the Court of Claims that the Irving Township equipment was a subject of the sheriff’s own probe into the 2020 election, Bridge Michigan reported.

At Thursday’s event, he denied the allegations and said he never took or conducted analysis on the machines.

In June, Leaf filed a lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims accusing Attorney General Dana Nessel, Benson and the Michigan State Police of illegally blocking his election investigation.

The lawsuit alleges that the state is investigating his office and has interviewed one of his deputies under subpoena, Bridge Michigan reported last year.

Leaf is also a member of the constitutional sheriffs movement — a group of sheriffs who claim that sheriffs are the highest level law-enforcement power in their jurisdictions, surpassing that of the state police and the federal government, including the U.S. president.

When asked why he continues to investigate election fraud, when so many other election experts and auditors have concluded there was little to no wrongdoing, his answer was simple.

“Because it is the right thing to do,” he said.

A request for comment from the Alpena County Democratic Party about Leaf’s visit and the investigation was not returned.


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