“An unsuccessful candidate for Sterling Heights City Council now faces felony charges related to ballot application forgeries, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today. Paul Manni, 27, of Sterling Heights, is charged with the following in Macomb County’s 41-A District Court: nine counts of forging a signature on an absent voter ballot application, five-year felonies; and nine counts of making a false statement on an absent voter ballot application, 90-day misdemeanors. He was arraigned August 5. The charges stem from the November 2021 election,” says a Tuesday statement from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office.
“Leading up to the election, the City Clerk for Sterling Heights became suspicious when a candidate for city council – Manni – personally dropped off approximately 50 absentee voter applications with his signature and an indication that he was delivering the applications at the voters’ request. Nine of the voters included in the applications were reached by clerk staff to verify if they did, in fact, wish to apply for an absentee ballot. Each of the nine individuals advised they did not seek to apply for an absentee ballot. The Clerk then contacted the Bureau of Elections (BOE) to report the suspected fraud, which prompted an investigation. When that investigation was complete, it was referred to the Department of Attorney General (DAG) for evaluation. To be clear, none of the applications turned in by Manni resulted in a valid ballot going to the voter.”