Local clerks receive questionable election emails
By Lisa Brody
Local Oakland County clerks are being sent identical, and questionable, election-related emails, a year before the 2022 primary, setting off alarm bells for many, including Bloomfield Township clerk Martin Brook.
Brook, who was elected in November 2020, said he has received identical emails, some from “a Biden supporter,” and some from “a Trump supporter,” all which purportedly come from similar Gmail IP addresses, according to his IT staff, he said, both on Tuesday, August 10, around 9:30 p.m. His IT department said the emails were not caught by spam filters or other protective measures because they came from Gmail accounts.
The rest of the emails identically read: “I want to make sure that I vote in the upcoming election and I have a few questions. Can I bring my expired photo ID to vote in the next election? My parents will be moving to Michigan from another state soon and they would like to vote in the next election. What procedures do they need to take so they can vote in the next election? Finally, my teenager child would like to register as a poll worker to make sure that Trump supporters do not commit election fraud. What are the requirements for my child to work as a poll worker in the next election?”
Brook said he has spoken to two other Oakland County clerks in various parts of the county, and they have also received the same emails. “On the Facebook page for Michigan Municipal Clerks, so far 43 people have replied to the post that they too received one or more versions of the fake email,” he said.
Of concern, Brook said, is if clerks offices become overwhelmed with dozens of these emails everyday, preventing them from legitimately answering residents' emails and questions. “We want to help residents, and this could take up so much time we could be prevented from adequately helping them,” he said.
“This could just be annoying, which is bad enough. But it could be an attempt to gin-up 'evidence' of disparate treatment or inaccurate answers for political gain,” Brook continued. “Or it could be the tip of the iceberg of a flood of fake emails during elections, which could possibly disrupt the work of election officials throughout the state...now (while) the state legislature is busy with legislation that will only make the task of running democracy harder, instead of figuring out what clerks need and providing those legislative and financial supports in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner.”