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States with Fraudulent Electors: Schemes Uncovered in Arizona and 6 Other States

Supporters of former President Donald Trump in seven states sent paperwork to Congress after the 2020 election, attempting to create a path to maintain the Republican within the White House despite his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Arizona on Wednesday became the newest of those states to bring charges against the individuals who are sometimes called “fake electors.” The opposite six states where the plot took place are Georgia, Michigan, Recent Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Prosecutors in three of those states have pursued criminal penalties against the Trump electors there, with Georgia’s case being the widest in scope. Arizona’s can be broad, in that it brings allegations against key Trump allies who orchestrated the plot. But unlike Georgia’s case, Trump himself isn’t facing charges.

Here’s what to learn about those cases and once they began.

Michigan

Charging date: July 18, 2023

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, announced her office had charged 16 individuals with eight crimes each. The fees include conspiracy to commit forgery, publishing a false record “with the intent to injure or defraud,” and other counts.

Nessel at first referred the investigation to prosecutors in Washington, D.C., but reopened her case in January 2023 after inaction from the federal government, in line with The Detroit Free Press.

If convicted, penalties range from five to 14 years, in line with Nessel’s office. Unlike in other states, the fees were brought by Nessel’s office and never a grand jury.

The individuals charged include a co-chair of the state’s Republican party, a GOP national committeewoman, a former elector, and others lively in local government and political leadership. They’re Kathy Berden, William (Hank) Choate, Amy Facchinello, Clifford Frost, Stanley Grot, John Haggard, Mari-Ann Henry, Timothy King, Michele Lundgren, Meshawn Maddock, James Renner, Mayra Rodriguez, Rose Rook, Marian Sheridan, Ken Thompson, Kent Vanderwood.

Case status: One defendant — Renner — reached a cooperation agreement to assist prosecutors in exchange for his charges being dropped. A Michigan judge is considering preliminary testimony to choose whether there may be enough evidence to proceed the prosecution, a routine stage of a case required by state law there.

Georgia

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