Woman charged with election law forgery

A Plymouth Township woman is facing a felony charge after the township clerk, who was reviewing applications for absentee voter ballots, discovered the woman’s alleged attempt to obtain a ballot in the name of another person.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged Karen Lynne Rotondo, 57, of Plymouth Township, with one count of knowingly making, filing or publishing a false signature on an absent voter application, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.

Rotondo allegedly forged her daughter’s signature on an application for an absent voter application and mailed the application to the Plymouth Township clerk. The daughter, who now resides out-of-state, was unaware that the application had been filed in her name.

“Serious criminal consequences exist for those who attempt to tamper with our election process,” Nessel said. “Michiganders should know that absentee ballot applications, which is the subject of this fraud investigation, are not just rubber-stamped and processed robotically.

Clerks and other election officials conduct careful examinations of these applications to ensure they are authentic, complete and comport with the law.”

The case was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Michigan Department of State.

“As I’ve said before and throughout my tenure, my goal is to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat in Michigan,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “And make no mistake, when we receive allegations of people trying to cheat, we immediately investigate and if credible, refer for prosecution in order to maintain the integrity of Michigan elections.”

Rotondo is expected to be formally arraigned on the charge in the coming days.

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