Trenae Myesha Rainey, Others Charged with Voter Fraud
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Michigan Authorities Root Out ‘Rare’ Alleged Voter Fraud Attempts, Charging Three with Felonies

People voting in Detroit in 2020

Michigan authorities unveiled charges against three women for attempted voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, adding that these “rare” prosecutions demonstrate election systems are secure and self-correcting.

Attorney General Dana Nessel (D), whose office successfully fought off attempts to overturn the election results in Michigan, said that the prosecutions show that her office will not hesitate to clamp down on alleged voter fraud — when the claims behind them are not phantasmal.

“These cases highlight the scrutiny applications and ballots undergo throughout the election process, as well as the thorough investigative process that ensues when instances of attempted fraud are suspected,” Nessel said. “I appreciate our partners at the Department of State and Michigan State Police who brought these cases to us. These collaborative investigations assist in maintaining the integrity of our elections. We will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who attempts to undermine our elections.”

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) sounded a similar note.

“Our election system is secure, and today’s charges demonstrate that in the rare circumstances when fraud occurs we catch it and hold the perpetrators accountable,” Benson said. “These charges also send a clear message to those who promote deceitful claims about widespread fraud: the current protocols we have in place work to protect and ensure the integrity of our elections. It’s time to share that truth and stop spreading lies to the contrary.”

All accused of election-related misconduct in counties surrounding the Detroit metropolitan area, the three women facing felony charges are Trenae Myesha Rainey, 28; Carless Clark, 59; and Nancy Juanita Williams, 55.

Prosecutors claim that Rainey worked at the Father Murray Nursing Home in Macomb County and forged the signatures of residents on absentee voting applications.

“She then turned the applications over to another employee who was instructed to deliver the applications to the Centerline Clerk,” prosecutors said in a press release.

Rainey faces three counts of election law forgery and three counts of forging signature on absentee ballot applications in Macomb County’s 37th District Court. Each of these counts is a maximum five-year felony.

Prosecutors claim that Clark filled out, signed and returned her grandson’s absentee ballot, even though he decided to vote in person.

“Clark admitted to signing her grandson’s absentee ballot because she was concerned he would not have time to vote on Election Day,” the press release states.

She is charged in Wayne County’s 36th District Court with impersonating another to vote, a possible four-year felony, and a count of election law forgery, a possible five-year felony.

The final case sprang from an investigation focusing on applications for absentee ballots signed with an “X” and requesting ballots to be sent to the business address of Guardian and Associates in Oak Park.

Williams, one of the guardians there, “developed and implemented a plan to obtain and control absentee ballots for legally incapacitated persons under her care by fraudulently submitting 26 absentee ballot applications to nine identified city and township clerks,” prosecutors say.

“She also submitted separate voter registration applications for each person – all without knowledge, consent or understanding of the person under her care,” the press release states.

Due to the scale of her alleged fraud, Williams faces dozens of charges in five courts: three counts in the 28th District Court in Wayne County; six counts in the 17th District Court in Wayne County; nine counts in the 18th District Court in Wayne County; six counts in the 29th District Court in Wayne County; and 18 counts in the 46th District Court in Oakland County.

[John Moore/Getty Images]

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks.