Election-denying clerk ousted in recall: ‘Make Adams Township Boring Again’
- Adams Township voters reject Clerk Stephanie Scott
- Challenger Suzy Roberts beat Scott in recall election
- A hero to election-deniers, Scott was investigated by state police
Voters in deeply conservative Adams Township on Tuesday night rejected elections clerk Stephanie Scott, ousting the Republican official who questioned the accuracy of her own voting machines in a dispute that prompted a state police investigation.
Unofficial results from Hillsdale County show Scott lost her recall election to independent challenger Suzy Roberts by a nearly 2-1 margin, with Roberts winning 406 votes to Scott's 214.
Neither Scott nor Roberts immediately responded to Wednesday morning voicemails seeking comment on the election results.
- Michigan Republicans outraged by Donald Trump indictment, Dems mostly mum
- Hero to election deniers in fight to keep her job
- Deep in Trump country, a Michigan town mistrusts all elections, except its own
But Gail McClanahan, a 75-year-old retiree who organized a petition drive to force the recall election, called the results a win for local voters frustrated by the two-year saga that began in 2021, when the state stripped Scott of her ability to administer elections.
"We're just so happy that Adams Township believed us," McClanahan told Bridge Michigan. "We said there's no election fraud here. We've lived here all of our life."
She added that Roberts won, in part, because of her call to "Make Adams Township Boring Again."
Adams Township voters also chose to recall Supervisor Mark Nichols, a Scott ally who had joined her to vote against replacing local voting equipment confiscated by state police.
Randy Johnson, a current GOP trustee who ran against Nichols as an independent, won 64 percent of the unofficial vote and is poised to become the new township supervisor.
Scott in 2021 refused to conduct routine maintenance on the township's voting equipment in an apparent attempt to preserve data she suspected could prove fraud cost former President Donald Trump the 2020 election, in which she won an uncontested race.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's office stripped Scott of her election duties and requested a state police probe that fall when a local "scan unit tablet" went missing.
Documents show state police referred the case to Attorney General Dana Nessel for possible criminal charges in June 2022, but state police investigated again in September after Scott was accused of sharing "identifying information" about local voters with a third party.
Nessel has not announced any charging decision, and in March her office cited an "open investigation" in rejecting a public records request for case materials by Bridge Michigan.
Scott has denied any wrongdoing and said last month in a public forum that she was simply asking questions about local voter roll discrepancies and trying to follow federal law for election data preservation.
“Despite the slander... I want you to know that I've done nothing wrong,” Scott said at the time. “I have only asked the questions that other clerks should also be asking."
The dispute made Scott a hero to national election deniers, including former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne of Utah, who defended Adams by Zoom in the April 1 town hall, calling her a "Brave American" fighting a "coup by corruption."
McLanahan, a lifelong Adams Township resident who organized the recall election, said local voters were tired of the drama.
"Everything was so cool and nice for years, and then all this ruckus," McLanahan said. "Local meetings got rowdy, they got bad. We want it back nice again."
See what new members are saying about why they donated to Bridge Michigan:
- “In order for this information to be accurate and unbiased it must be underwritten by its readers, not by special interests.” - Larry S.
- “Not many other media sources report on the topics Bridge does.” - Susan B.
- “Your journalism is outstanding and rare these days.” - Mark S.
If you want to ensure the future of nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan journalism, please become a member today. You, too, will be asked why you donated and maybe we'll feature your quote next time!