KENT COUNTY, Mich. — A Kent County election worker accused of putting a thumb drive into a poll book during last August's primaries has filed an appeal.
James Holkeboer was a township election worker at Gaines Township Precinct 8 on Aug. 18, 2022.
After the polls closed, a witness allegedly saw Holkeboer put a personal USB drive into the Electronic Poll Book. This machine is a computer that election workers use to administer the election. The book contained voter registration data, including personal information about all the voters in the area.
The Electronic Poll Book is not connected to any of the vote tabulation equipment, nor is it connected to the internet.
Holkeboer is now facing charges of falsifying records and using a computer to commit a crime. Both are felonies.
Attorneys for Holkeboer are asking the appeals court to grant an application for leave to appeal.
Their argument claims the trial court errored by interpreting MCL 168.932 "to proscribe copying election records where the statute does not use the term 'copy' or any of its synonyms," Holkeboer's attorneys wrote.
His attorneys also argue that the trial court should have dismissed count 2, which is using a computer to commit an offense.
Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker filed an answer in opposition to the application.
"Notably, when asked how he would react to another poll worker taking files in the same manner, Defendant explained that 'if he saw someone from his party do it, he...really wouldn't question what they were doing,'" Becker wrote.
"Defendant never requested permission to take the voter report; instead, his interview with Detective Goehring supports an argument that he knew such conduct was prohibited...Further, he admitted that he would have questioned the act if he saw someone from his opposing party transferring files onto a personal drive."
It wasn't immediately clear if or when there would be a hearing for the appeal.
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