Michigan election conspiracies crumble as canvass, sheriff probe sputter
- Trump favorite Jacky Eubanks could face legal action for accusing a St. Clair County voter of fraud.
- In Barry County, a prosecutor denied search warrants to Sheriff Dar Leaf and his probe of the 2020 election.
- The conspiracies continue, despite multiple findings that Joe Biden won Michigan by 154,188 votes.
LANSING — A St. Clair County voter who says she backed Donald Trump in 2020 is considering legal action against a Trump-endorsed legislative candidate who publicly accused her of voter fraud, she told Bridge Michigan Wednesday.
The false allegation from Republican state House hopeful Jacky Eubanks of Chesterfield Township in nearby Macomb County is the latest example of Michigan election conspiracy claims that have crumbled under scrutiny.
The dispute comes days after Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf – who now appears to be under investigation himself — vowed to continue his own long-running 2020 election probe despite a prosecutorial finding that he does not yet have “probable cause” to obtain search warrants.
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In southeast Michigan, Melanie Marsack of Clay Township said Wednesday she is “giving some serious thought" to filing a lawsuit against Eubanks, who helped lead a controversial door-to-door "canvass" in search of “ghost voters” or other evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Michigan State Police investigated Eubanks findings but determined her claims were “unfounded,” according to recent reporting by The Detroit News.
Eubanks nonetheless continued to spread claims this week on Facebook, where she posted Marsack's full name and home address while alleging Marsack registered to vote at a vacant lot in order to cast a ballot in the 2020 election.
Eubanks, who is running for a district that includes portions of Macomb and St. Clair counties, cited screenshots from Google and Apple Maps as evidence.
But Marsack actually lives in an apartment above a business located on the same plot as the parking lot, she told Bridge Michigan, saying she voted for Trump in 2020 and is furious Eubanks is now accusing her of fraud.
“I’m appalled,” Marsack said of the public accusation, telling Bridge she fears retaliation from activists or other social media users who saw Eubanks’ post and now know where she lives.
“You would think that someone who’s running for such a position would vet out any information that comes to them a little more appropriately,” she added. “People are angry nowadays, and you put my name and address out there?”
Eubanks did not respond to a voicemail or text message from Bridge, but it appears she has deleted her Facebook post, including a comment from Marsack who had demanded she retract allegations and issue an apology.
“Please be advised if this does not occur immediately I will take legal action as needed,” Marsack wrote on Eubanks’ post before it was deleted.
Property records reviewed by Bridge confirm that Marsack’s voting address is the upper unit of a split-level building. Marsack said she lives in the apartment with her husband and 20-year-old son, who are also registered to vote there.
Marsack told Bridge she did not know about Eubanks' allegations until Tuesday night, when her sister called to tell her about the social media post, which an acquaintance had first seen.
"I take the integrity of the election very seriously," Marsack said. "It's something I'm very passionate about, and for her to attack me, to just put my name out there and basically call me a fraudulent voter? It makes me extremely uncomfortable."
Eubanks’ door-to-door voter canvass inspired similar efforts in communities across the state, including Barry County, where Leaf — a self-described “constitutional” sheriff — said he has compiled affidavits from voters who recalled voting in person despite records indicating they’d voted by absentee ballot.
Leaf discussed his controversial investigation last week in a Las Vegas conference organized by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, where he acknowledged he has yet produced evidence to convince a local prosecutor that significant wrongdoing occurred.
Barry County Prosecutor Julie Nakfoor Pratt confirmed Wednesday that she recently declined to sign off on search warrant requests from Leaf's office.
"There just wasn't anything in there that amounted to any fraud that I could see," she told Bridge Michigan.
The sheriff could ask a judge to authorize search warrants without her, but Barry County courts typically ask law enforcement to secure a prosecutorial recommendation first, Pratt said.
"I go by the four corners of the search warrant," she said, noting her review was limited to the evidence Leaf presented. "It's not my job to investigate. It's his job."
Leaf, in his Las Vegas conference speech, called Pratt's determination "ridiculous" and vowed to continue his probe.
“We think we have enough for search warrants and everything else,” Leaf said in the conference, which also featured speeches from Trump loyalists like Mike Lindell, founder and CEO of My Pillow.
“We're gonna keep moving forward, folks. We’re not done with this.”
As Bridge Michigan first reported last year, Leaf considered seizing voting machines in Barry County following the 2020 presidential election, a plan an attorney working for him discussed with key Trump allies, including attorney Sidney Powell and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Trump’s own Department of Justice said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, but Trump lashed out at Michigan Senate Republicans who spent months investigating the election and determined voters should trust the official results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the state by 154,188 votes.
Last month, Leaf sued Michigan State Police and Attorney General Dana Nessel, accusing them of trying to thwart his election investigation as part of their own probe into allegations that Trump loyalists tampered with voting machines after the 2020 election.
The state investigation expanded into Barry County this spring, when state police raided Irving Township Hall and seized a voting tabulator from the local clerk after an "unpermitted individual" was reportedly allowed to access the machine.
In his lawsuit, Leaf disclosed that state authorities tried to subpoena and interview one of his deputies.
They are now “targeting me,” Leaf said last week in Las Vegas, where he also questioned whether Nessel legitimately won her own election in 2018, calling that contest a possible “test run” for 2020.
“I want that equipment back,” he said of the Irving Township tabulator. “I'm running that investigation, not her.”
Nessel’s office declined comment.
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