OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — County election officials in West Michigan are busy responding to FOIA requests related to the 2020 primary election fraud conspiracy.
FOIA stands for Freedom of Information Act which provides the public the right to request access to records from any local, state or federal agency.
Ottawa County, in particular, has been inundated these past three weeks with requests, according to Ottawa County Clerk, Justin Roebuck, an elected Republican.
Some of the requests are coming from county residents, but many others, in copy-and-paste format, are not.
"I think it's related to a lot of these national organizations and figures who are utilizing symposiums and forums raising concerns over what I would call, 'baseless claims', about the election," said Roebuck.
Some of the requests are simple, but others are for information the county doesn't have.
"We have some neighboring counties that have Dominion voting systems and so we're getting a lot of act requests about Dominion which of course, we don't have and can't fulfill."
Or the requests are more nuanced and require a lot of time for staff to dig through their records to obtain.
Time staff doesn't have as they're focusing on the upcoming November midterm election.
"The challenge is the burden with these public information act requests; we are strapped," said Roebuck. "We're in a place where truly it's a concern that we can be responsive to residents' needs but also ensure a safe and secure election."
A reason for the uptick could be that September 23rd is the federal retention period deadline on 2020 election-related materials. So after the 23rd, county clerks are no longer required to store these materials.
Roebuck says clerks are being swamped all over the state and country.
His tweet reads..."48 hrs to our wedding & I'm responding to a flurry [of] FOIA requests about the election. Not the last one or the 5 before that, but 2020's, two years ago. I'm every election official right now, while still doing life & managing the next election. Thank yours when you see them."
"We are a transparent operation and an election administration in general is and needs to be, but I think its important people understand the facts and follow the facts, particularly when those facts have been laid out," said Roebuck.
13 ON YOUR SIDE is waiting for a response from the Michigan Secretary of State.
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