Michigan Democrat sentenced to house arrest for ballot tampering in 2020

By 
 April 26, 2023

Former Flint Township, Michigan clerk Kathy Funk was sentenced on Monday to six months of house arrest for tampering with ballots in the 2020 election.

Funk pleaded no contest to misconduct in office in January, admitting that she damaged the seal on the ballot canister after the primary election, which she won by only 73 votes, which made it ineligible for a recount.

Before her plea, Funk claimed that someone broke into the township hall and damaged the seal on the ballot canister.

Funk moved on to the general election and was re-elected as clerk. She had moved on to become elections supervisor in the much larger Greene County, 60 miles north of Detroit when she had to resign in December because of the charges against her.

The sentence

Judge Mark Latchana said at sentencing:

I’m sure there’s a segment of the population that thinks you should be locked up for calling into question the integrity of an election. And if we had unlimited jail space, perhaps that’s true. But we don’t. So, we have to use our available resources wisely. And someone who is 59-years-old, who’s never been in trouble before, and didn’t commit any violent acts, doesn’t need to be going to jail in this community. If you lived up north, that might be a different story where they have jail space to spare, but we don’t.

Besides house arrest, when Funk will have to wear an ankle monitor, she will also be subject to two years probation and a $1,000 fine. She will additionally be required to submit a letter of apology within 30 days.

Funk's lawyer Philip Beauvais III said the incident was "one act of indiscretion."

Manya Triplett, the candidate Funk ostensibly beat to gain the position in 2020, was later appointed to be her replacement.

Low confidence in elections

Incidents like this have made voters less confident in the integrity of elections, even though most proven indiscretions have involved small local races.

Republicans particularly have expressed skepticism, with 65% saying they are not very or not at all confident that votes were counted accurately in the 2020 presidential election, according to the Center for Election Innovation and Research.

A majority, 53%, were still not confident that votes in the next election will be counted accurately.

48% of Trump voters think there were widespread errors and abuses of vote counting in the 2020 election.

The problem is, it's difficult to prove or disprove an unknown.

It doesn't help that Democrats have come out against proven election integrity measures like voter ID and taking dead voters off election rolls automatically, or doing anything to make voters more confident in election integrity because they are afraid it will stifle Democrat voters.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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