Michigan Congressman Could Face Vote Fraud Charges - FOX 35 News Orlando

Michigan Congressman Could Face Vote Fraud Charges

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(Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Thaddeus McCotter (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Thaddeus McCotter

Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter could face possible campaign fraud charges concerning the signing of petitions to get on the ballot FOX 2 reported.

Political reporter Tim Skubick says the five-term U.S. Representative from Livonia did not file enough petitions to appear on the ballot and now it appears a majority of those signatures that were filed were not valid.

Skubick says McCotter turned in about 2,000 signatures but according to the Michigan secretary of state's office only 244 were valid. That means the rest of the signatures are questionable which is why the Michigan State Attorney General's office is now looking into the possibility and will investigate as to whether there was a padding of signatures, phony signatures, phony circulators, all sorts of things that are against the law, Skubick said.

In a statement released Tuesday by his campaign, McCotter said he hoped the Michigan secretary of state's and attorney general's offices would investigate "the insufficient and irregular petitions" that kept him off the ballot.

"The buck stops with me," the Livonia Republican said. "That's why I urge the continued investigation into the petitions. Everyone deserves to know what happened regarding this filing."

McCotter, who briefly sought the GOP nomination to run for president last year before dropping out, made the stunning disclosure Friday that the secretary of state's office informed him he was about 1,000 valid signatures short of the threshold needed to get on the Aug. 7 primary ballot.

He had promised to announce on Tuesday the findings of an internal review.

He's running for re-election in Michigan's 11th Congressional District, which runs through parts of Oakland and Wayne counties, including the communities of Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Canton Township, Northville, Novi and Wixom, among others.

The other Republican in the race is Kerry Bentivolio, a Vietnam War veteran, teacher and beekeeper from Milford.

The 60-year-old told The Associated Press on Saturday he was "excited about" how McCotter's miscue might help his own campaign.

"It improves the chances for the average guy," Bentivolio said. "Do I feel different? Yeah, a lot more optimistic. I'm getting a lot of free publicity."

McCotter, 46, is a conservative who first was elected to Congress in 2002. He entered the GOP presidential race last July, but dropped out soon thereafter because his campaign had gained little traction.

William Roberts of Redford Township and Dr. Taj Syed of Canton Township are running in the 11th District Democratic primary.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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