The presumptive Republican nominee for Michigan attorney general, Matthew DePerno, is under investigation for meddling with voting equipment after the 2020 election in search of evidence of election fraud. According to a petition for a special prosecutor filed on August 5 by current Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, DePerno and two other people, including state Rep. Daire Rendon (R–Lake City), allegedly "orchestrated a coordinated plan to gain access to voting tabulators" in several Michigan counties. Once they obtained the machines, the trio performed "tests" on them, including running fake ballots through the machines.
DePerno claims that there was anti-Trump voter fraud in Michigan during the 2020 election. He filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Michigan resident alleging sweeping voter fraud in the presidential election. In April, a Michigan appeals court dismissed DePerno's lawsuit. DePerno has said that "when I am elected, I will keep my word to prosecute the people who corrupted the 2020 election and allowed fraud to permeate the entire election system."
According to Nessel's petition to the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor for the case, DePerno and others took the machines they acquired to hotel rooms and Airbnb locations, where several people "broke into the tabulators and performed 'tests' on the equipment." Nessel's office claims that DePerno was present for at least one of these "testing" sessions.
Nessel has requested a special prosecutor in the case because she and DePerno will face each other in November's general election. Nessel insists that the investigation, which has been conducted by her office and the Michigan State Police, is not politically motivated. "When this investigation began there was not a conflict of interest," wrote Nessel's office in the petition. "However, during the course of the investigation, facts were developed that DePerno was one of the prime instigators of the conspiracy."
In response to the petition, DePerno's campaign tweeted a statement on August 7 claiming that "the petition itself is entirely an incoherent liberal fever dream of lies."
Many Republican politicians seem committed to advancing the conspiracy theory that President Joe Biden won the 2020 general election only because of voter fraud. Whether deeply or opportunistically held, this idea allegedly led DePerno to engage in illegal activity despite the fact that American elections are very secure.