Michigander charged with election crimes in Kent County related to August primary election

by Summer Lane

Photo: Adobe Stock

A Michigan man has been charged with two felonies after reportedly plugging a flash drive into a computer that contained sensitive voter registration information in August, according to a report from Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons.

Lyons stated:

“The incident took place at Gaines Township Precinct 8, where- after the polls closed- an individual witnessed the worker insert a personal USB drive into the Electronic Poll Book. The Electronic Poll Book is the computer that election workers use to administer the election at their precinct. It contains voter registration data, including confidential, personal identifying information about all voters in that precinct.”

According to Reuters, the man charged is a former election worker named James Donald Holkeboer. He is being accused of allegedly “falsifying” election records and planning to utilize a computer to commit a crime.

Lyons’ complete statement regarding the incident

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker further detailed the charges, citing them as “Election law-Falsifying returns/records,” punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of $1,000. The second charge, “Using a computer to commit a crime,” is punishable by up to four years in prison or a $5,000 fine. “A consecutive sentence may be imposed for an underlying conviction,” he added.

County Clerk Lyons wrote in her statement, “…this incident is extremely egregious and incredibly alarming. Not only is it a violation of Michigan law, but it is a violation of public trust and of the oath all election workers are required to take.”

However, Lyons insisted that the alleged actions of Holkeboer “had no impact on the election.”

Unfortunately, in light of the numerous reports of security breaches and irregularities in counties around the country regarding election processes, Holkeboer’s reported crimes will likely only make voters more suspicious about the safety and security of voting equipment in Kenton County.

Becker expanded on the two charges filed against Holkeboer, stating, “These charges stem from activity during the 2022 Primary Election held this past August in Gaines Township.”

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