Tag: Michigan

Anti-government paramilitary groups in plot against Michigan governor also discussed kidnapping Virginia governor, FBI agent says

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor during a June meeting in Ohio, an FBI agent testified Tuesday during a court hearing in Michigan.

Special Agent Richard Trask was part of the investigation that led to six men being arrested and charged last week with plotting to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Seven other men face state terrorism charges.

Trask did not name Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, during his testimony in a federal courtroom in Grand Rapids. He said members of anti-government groups from multiple states attended the meeting.

“They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders,” Trask said. He said the people at the meeting were unhappy with the governors’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trask did not discuss further planning aimed at Northam.

The FBI did not brief Northam on any potential threat, according to a state official with knowledge of the governor’s briefings who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The June meeting was part of the FBI’s investigation of various anti-government groups, leading to last week’s stunning announcement that six men had been arrested for an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer.

Tuesday’s court hearing was to review investigators’ evidence against Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta and whether they should be detained before trial. The men are all Michigan residents.

A sixth man, Barry Croft, was being held in Delaware.

The FBI used confidential sources, undercover agents and clandestine recordings to foil the alleged kidnapping conspiracy. Some defendants had conducted coordinated surveillance of the Democratic governor’s vacation home in northern Michigan in August and September, according to a criminal complaint.

The men were trying to retaliate against Whitmer due to her “uncontrolled power” amid the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said. They said four of the men had planned to meet last week to pay for explosives and exchange tactical gear.

Whitmer, who was considered as Joe Biden’s running mate and is nearly halfway through a four-year term, has been widely praised for her response to the virus outbreak but also sharply criticized by Republican lawmakers and people in conservative areas of the state. The Capitol has been the site of many rallies, including ones with gun-toting protesters calling for her ouster.

Whitmer put major restrictions on personal movement and the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted since spring.

Fox, who was described as one of the leaders, was living in the basement of a vacuum shop in Grand Rapids. The owner said Fox was opposed to wearing a mask during the pandemic and kept firearms and ammunition at the store.

The defendants face up to life in prison if convicted.

Seven others linked to a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen were charged in state court for allegedly seeking to storm the Michigan Capitol and providing material support for terrorist acts by seeking a “civil war.”

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Michigan law enforcement on alert in response to ‘plan to target and kill police’

Michigan law enforcement is on high alert after the FBI revealed an alleged plot by extremist groups to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also involved a “plan to target and kill police.”

Vehicle protests at Michigan Capitol over Gov. Whitmer stay home order

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“We’re cautious. We’re absolutely more careful,” said First Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police. “This is one of the tactics these anti-government, domestic terrorism groups use. Law enforcement is the face of the government. If you’re mad at the government, you’re mad at the police.”

The alleged plot was unveiled last Thursday when the U.S. Department of Justice charged six men with conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer, which authorities said they wanted to carry out before Election Day. On the same day, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel brought charges against seven other men that included supporting terrorism, gang membership, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony. 



a group of people walking down the street: Michigan State Police look on during the a protest rally against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's order to stay home during COVID-19 pandemic in Lansing, Mich. on Thursday, May 14, 2020.


© Kimberly P Mitchell, Detroit Free Press
Michigan State Police look on during the a protest rally against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order to stay home during COVID-19 pandemic in Lansing, Mich. on Thursday, May 14, 2020.

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Officials said the suspects were attempting to trigger “civil war” with a detailed plan to abduct the governor and attack other elected officials at the Statehouse. Part of the plot included plans to target police.

FBI Special Agent Richard J. Trask II cited the risk to law enforcement officers in a criminal complaint filed last Tuesday in U.S. District Court:

“The militia group had already been brought to the attention of the FBI by a local police department in March 2020 when members of the militia group were attempting to obtain the addresses of local law enforcement officers,” the filing says. “At the time, the FBI interviewed a member of the militia group who was concerned about the group’s plan to target and kill police officers and that person agreed to become a CHS (confidential human source).”



a group of people looking at a cell phone: Michigan State Police First Lt. Mike Shaw, seen here outside of the 22nd District Court on July 3, 2014, says that state troopers remain on high alert with news of an alleged plot to kidnap and possibly kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.


© Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press
Michigan State Police First Lt. Mike Shaw, seen here outside of the 22nd District Court on July 3, 2014, says that state troopers remain on high alert with news of an alleged plot to kidnap and possibly kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Shaw and others said the police are on high alert as risk continues to evolve beyond traffic stops and sitting in police cars to getting fake calls for service and targeting police when they’re out of uniform. 

State Police are constantly evaluating the credibility of threats against troopers and facilities and taking measures to reduce potential for harm, Shaw said.

Michigan State Police are assigned to protect the governor. Whitmer thanked troopers for their commitment to public service after officials made the arrests in the federal case.

The Free Press interviewed current and former law enforcement officers who said the threat to Michigan police by extremist groups

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Why Michigan Is Considered ‘Fertile’ Ground for Anti-Government Extremists

For the past decade, gun owners dressed in flak jackets and camouflage fatigues have brought their rifles into the Michigan Legislature at least twice every year, asserting their vehement support for gun rights by displaying weapons in the hallways.

This spring, those gatherings intensified as participants turned what had been a declaration about the Second Amendment into a protest over how far the government could go in limiting individual behavior amid the pandemic. Hundreds turned out to demand an end to lockdowns, social distancing and mask wearing.

Among the demonstrators who stormed into the Capitol to protest those measures were two brothers who have now been charged as part of an extremist plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and to commit other violence. The brothers subscribed to a larger anti-government movement that has evolved in Michigan and throughout the United States over decades, but was spurred on this year by the pandemic, social justice protests and the presidential election.

With its fervent gun culture and its gaping differences between urban and rural populations, Michigan has seen its divisions grow ever wider since at least the 1990s, when armed groups on the right adopted increasingly extreme positions on limiting the government’s power.

The brothers are among 13 men who face a variety of charges related to the kidnapping plot, including terrorism, conspiracy and weapons possession. The authorities said the men were also affiliated with an extremist group called the Wolverine Watchmen, which court documents called “an anti-government, anti-law enforcement militia group.” Such groups have existed in Michigan for decades, most notably in 1994 with the formation of the Michigan Militia.

“There have been militia-type groups in Michigan even before we started using the phrase domestic terrorism,” said Bill Ballenger, a former Republican state senator who represented a rural area. “Before it never got to armed insurrection or an attempt to overthrow the government or assassinate people or anything like that.”

In a sense, experts said, the fight over measures like mask requirements to contain the spread of the virus was the latest example of what these groups see as government overreach. “It is really the perfect issue for far-right conspiracy theorists to rally around,” said Daniel Levitas, a lawyer and the author of “The Terrorist Next Door,” a history of extremist groups.

In the early 1990s, armed groups in Michigan, and around the country, were formed in reaction to bloody federal sieges against Randy Weaver and his family in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and against an armed cult in Waco, Texas, in 1993. The latter ended with the death of 76 people. The new far-right organizations accused the government of tyranny and began conducting paramilitary training and obtaining military equipment.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, later convicted of bombing a federal office building in Oklahoma City in April 1995, killing 168 people, attended some of the earliest meetings of the Michigan Militia. The gory details from the trial diminished the appeal of such groups, but they continued to exist.

“It

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LaPorte County Historical Society Museum locks up Michigan City jail door | Entertainment



LaPorte County Historical Society Museum locks up Michigan City jail door

LaPorte County Commissioner Richard Mrozinski, Museum Director Keri Teller Jakubowski and LaPorte County Historical Society Board President Bruce Johnson pose with the historic Michigan City jail door that was acquired by the LaPorte County Historical Society Museum.




The LaPorte County Historical Society Museum locked up its latest acquisition: the historic jail door from the Michigan City Superior Courthouse.

The museum, at 2405 Indiana Ave., LaPorte, obtained the door to the jail cell from the 111-year-old courthouse at 300 Washington St. where prisoners were held during their daily trial proceedings. It’s actually two doors: a barred door and a steel door with a peep hole that allowed sound and light to enter the holding cell.

“LaPorte County Commissioner Richard Mrozinski was instrumental in acquiring the door on behalf of the Museum,” the LaPorte County Historical Society said in a press release.

“The jail door was in an area of the courthouse that is currently undergoing renovation. The physical transfer of the door was accomplished by Marquiss Electric, Inc. of Michigan City.”

The museum also has a jail door from the third LaPorte County Jail, which was built in 1857 next to the defunct Shafer’s Laundry that was torn down to make room for the LaPorte County Complex. Both doors are similar in design and date back to the same period between the late 1800s and the early 1990s.

“Both are intriguing complements to the police and fire department exhibits,” the LaPorte County Historical Society said in a press release.

The museum is now open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and requires visitors to wear masks during the pandemic.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer kidnap plot busted by FBI

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses the media about the flooding along the Tittabawassee River, after several dams breached, in downtown Midland, Michigan, U.S., May 20, 2020.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Federal authorities charged six men for allegedly plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home before November’s presidential election, with one of the defendants allegedly saying they would then try Whitmer for “treason,” officials revealed Thursday.

Seven other men known to be members or associates of the militia group Wolverine Watchmen were charged under Michigan’s anti-terrorism law.

The investigation that led to the case began in early 2020 when “the FBI became aware through social media that a group of individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law-enforcement components,” court records show.

The FBI later heard the men and others talking about attacking the Michigan state Capitol and using Molotov cocktails to destroy police vehicles. The plot allegedly included one of the men surveilling Whitmer’s vacation home.

Charged in the case are five Michigan residents, Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta, and a Delaware man, Barry Croft.

The defendants were arrested on Wednesday night, according to Andrew Birge, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan. 

Vehicles are seen outside of a home the FBI searched in a Hartland Township mobile home park late Wednesday night and into the morning in connection of a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, on October 8, 2020 in Heartland, Michigan.

Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images

Several of the men were arrested as they met in the eastern part of Michigan to pool money to buy explosives, Birge said.

One of the defendants had said he already had bought an 800,000-volt Taser to be used in the kidnap plot, according to a criminal complaint.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, the top state law enforcement official, at a news conference announced the arrests of seven other men on state charges related to the same wide-ranging investigation that led to the federal prosecution of the six other men.

Whitmer earlier this year drew the ire of President Donald Trump, other conservatives and members of militia groups for strict her stay-at-home orders issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The president in April tweeted “Liberate Michigan!”

That same month, thousands of demonstrators, some of whom were armed, protested Whitmer’s orders at the state capitol in Lansing.

A criminal complaint, which includes an FBI agent’s affidavit, says that on June 6 there was a meeting in Dublin, Ohio, between Croft, Fox and about 13 other people from several states.

At that meeting, “the group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient,” the complaint said. “They discussed different ways of achieving this goal from peaceful endeavors to violent actions.”

A broken window is seen on a home the FBI searched in a Hartland Township mobile home park late Wednesday night and into the morning

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F.B.I. Says Michigan Anti-Government Group Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Those six men were charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which can carry a life sentence. Their names were listed in court documents as Adam Fox, Kaleb Franks, Brandon Caserta, Ty Garbin, Daniel Harris and Barry Croft. Mr. Croft lives in Delaware and the other five live in Michigan, the authorities said. No lawyers were immediately listed for the men.

The authorities said that Mr. Fox and Mr. Croft had decided to “unite others” to “take violent action” against state governments that they thought were violating the Constitution and that Mr. Fox was the one to initiate contact with a Michigan-based anti-government group. The F.B.I. said he had talked of storming the Michigan statehouse with 200 men and trying Ms. Whitmer for treason.

Brian Titus, the owner of a vacuum store in Grand Rapids, Mich., said that he had hired Mr. Fox, whom he had known since childhood, and even given him a place to stay in the store’s basement after he was kicked out of his girlfriend’s home. Mr. Titus said the store was raided on Wednesday.

“I felt sorry for him but I didn’t know he was capable of doing this; this is almost insane,” Mr. Titus said in an interview. “I knew he was in a militia, but there’s a lot of people in a militia that don’t plan to kidnap the governor. I mean, give me a break.”

Ms. Whitmer has been the subject of attack from right-wing protesters for measures she imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus.

In April, thousands of people gathered at the State Capitol to protest the executive orders she issued shutting down most of the state to help stop the spread of the virus that has now infected more than 145,000 Michiganders and killed more than 7,000.

President Trump openly encouraged such protests, tweeting, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”

The protests featured some signs with swastikas, Confederate flags and language that advocated violence against Ms. Whitmer, including one man who carried a doll with brown hair hanging from a noose. Many in the crowd carried semiautomatic weapons, leading some Democrats in the Legislature to call for a ban on guns in the Capitol.

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13 charged in plots against Whitmer, Michigan government

DETROIT (AP) — Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer at her vacation home.

Six men were charged in federal court, while seven others accused of trying to target police and the state Capitol were charged in state court.

“All of us in Michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever amount to violence. Violence has been prevented today,” Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider told reporters.

The six men charged in federal court plotted for months, consulting and training with members of a group that federal authorities described as a militia, and undertaking rehearsals in August and September, according to an FBI affidavit.

Four planned to meet Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear,” the FBI said in the court filing.

The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”

A broken window was seen on a home the FBI searched in a Hartland Township mobile home park late Wednesday night.
A broken window was seen on a home the FBI searched in a Hartland Township mobile home park late Wednesday night.JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The six men charged in federal court were arrested Wednesday night and face up to life in prison if convicted. They were due in court Thursday. Andrew Birge, the U.S. attorney in western Michigan, called them “violent extremists.”

Whitmer has been praised but also deeply criticized for the state’s response to the coronavirus. She put major restrictions on personal movement throughout the state and on the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted. The Michigan Supreme Court last week said a 1945 law used as the foundation for many of the governor’s orders is unconstitutional.

The government said the plot against Whitmer was stopped with the work of undercover agents and informants.

Through electronic communications, two of the alleged conspirators “agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution,” the FBI said.

The criminal complaint identified the six as Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft of Delaware.

Fox said he needed 200 men to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages, including the governor, according to the FBI. He said he wanted to try Whitmer for “treason” and would execute the plan before the Nov. 3 election, the government said. The group later shifted to targeting the governor’s vacation home, the FBI said.

Jacob Wohl (left) and Jack Burkman (center left) are seen during an arraignment being conducted over Zoom on Thursday in Detroit. Burkman and Wohl turned themselves into law enforcement at the Detroit Detention Center early this morning and were arraigned on voter intimidation charges, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.
Jacob Wohl (left) and Jack Burkman (center left) are seen during an arraignment being conducted over Zoom on Thursday in Detroit. Burkman and Wohl turned themselves into law enforcement at the Detroit Detention Center early this morning and were arraigned on voter intimidation charges, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.Associated Press

The government said the scheme appeared

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13 charged in plots against Michigan government

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s attorney general has charged seven people with plotting to target law enforcement and attack the state Capitol building.

The announcement comes after six others were charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in federal court.

The state attorney general announced additional charges under Michigan’s anti-terrorism law. Seven men, all in custody, are linked to the militia group Wolverine Watchmen.


They are suspected of attempting to identify the homes of law enforcement officers to “target them, made threats of violence intended to instigate a civil war.” They also planned and trained for an operation to attack the Michigan Capitol building and to kidnap government officials, including the governor, Dana Nessel said.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

DETROIT (AP) — Six men were charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in federal court.

The men plotted for months, consulting and training with militia members, and undertaking rehearsals in August and September, according to the complaint. Four of the six men planned to meet Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear,” the FBI said in the court filing.

The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”

The government used informants and undercover agents to thwart the alleged plot. The six men were arrested Wednesday night and each faces up to life in prison. U.S. attorney Andrew Birge called them “violent extremists.”

“All of us in Michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever amount to violence. Violence has been prevented today,” Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider told reporters.

The criminal complaint said the plan involved Whitmer and her second home in northern Michigan.

Whitmer has been praised but also deeply criticized for the state’s response to the coronavirus. She put major restrictions on personal movement throughout the state and on the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted. The criminal complaint did not mention those orders.

Through electronic communications, two of the alleged conspirators “agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution,” the FBI said.

The criminal complaint identified the six as Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft of Delaware.

Fox said he needed 200 men to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages, including the governor, according to the FBI.

He said he wanted to try Whitmer for “treason” and would execute the plan before the Nov. 3 election, the government said.

Later, however, the

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FBI foiled right-wing militia’s plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer

  • The FBI foiled an alleged plot by five men to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the state’s government, the bureau announced Thursday.
  • “Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message.”
  • Armed right-wing protesters stormed the Michigan capitol earlier this year after Whitmer signed an executive order imposing a statewide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
  • President Donald Trump also called on his supporters at the time to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and later refused to condemn the armed protesters who converged on the capitol, calling them “very good people.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Federal prosecutors have charged five men with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the state’s government, Detroit News first reported.

NBC News’ Tom Winter reported that the five men identified in court documents are Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta.

Federal prosecutors are expected to discuss the alleged kidnapping plot at a press conference Thursday. The news comes after FBI agents and Michigan state police spent hours on Wednesday night raiding a home in Hartland, Michigan. WXYZ reported that the raid was connected to the investigation into the defendants.

According to an FBI affidavit, the defendants allegedly reached out to members of an armed, right-wing militia in Michigan to carry out their plan.

“In early 2020, the FBI became aware through social media that a group of individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law-enforcement components. Among those individuals identified were CROFT and FOX,” Richard Trask II, an FBI agent, wrote in the sworn affidavit. “Through electronic communications, CROFT and FOX agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution.”

“Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” Trask wrote. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message. As part of that recruitment effort, FOX reached out to a Michigan based militia group.”

Trask added that the militia group had previously come under FBI scrutiny in a March when a member of the group told the bureau they were concerned about its plans “to target and kill police officers.” That person later agreed to become a confidential human source (CHS), Trask said. He wrote that the FBI was able to monitor the activities of Fox and others through confidential human sources.

In one instance, on June 14, a source “participated in a consensually recorded telephone call” with Fox, who “said he needed ‘200 men’ to storm the Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, and take hostages, including the governor,” Trask wrote. Fox said “they would try the Governor of Michigan for ‘treason,’ and he said they would

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New Michigan law lets ballot processing start early, but don’t expect results until Friday of election week

Michigan officials expect record-breaking turnout for the Nov. 3 election and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a few last-minute bills into law to speed the process and ensure every ballot is counted.

On Tuesday, Whitmer signed Senate Bill 757, passed by the House and Senate in September, to allow clerks in cities and townships with at least 25,000 people to start processing absentee ballots Nov. 2. The ballots can’t be tabulated until 7 a.m. on election day, however.

While the move is a “step in the right direction” per Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, it’s not enough, she said. States like Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida allow more time for processing – sometime weeks more, Benson said.

The change won’t significantly alter when the results will be ready, Benson said.

“We still expect that it will be the Friday of election week that we expect every ballot will be tabulated,” Benson said, noting it could be sooner.

This is the first presidential election in Michigan since voters passed a proposal allowing absentee voting without needing a specific reason.

The law also requires clerks to notify absentee voters if their ballot won’t be counted within 48 hours of receiving it – like for a missing signature, for example. This helps make sure every vote is counted, Whitmer said.

Senate Bill 117 was also supposed to be signed Tuesday, but Whitmer said Republican leadership didn’t send her the bill yet – despite it passing through both chambers of the Legislature.

The bill allows military members and their spouses to return ballots electronically through a secure portal if they can’t be returned in person. Benson’s husband served with the military in Afghanistan in 2004 and attempted to vote, she said, but couldn’t because a law like this wasn’t on the books.

“For some reason, the Republican leaders in the Legislature chose not to send me this bill yet,” Whitmer said. “I’m not sure what’s going on there, but this is crucial for our brave folks and their families who serve in the military. Elections are no time to play partisan games.”

More than 2.7 million ballots have been requested in Michigan so far, and 2.6 million of them have been issued to voters. Nearly 400,000 have been filled out and received back.

Here’s a look at which cities have the most requests for ballots, along with how many have been issued and how many have been submitted:

  1. Detroit: 124,400 (108,065 issued, 12,426 received)
  2. Grand Rapids: 51,711 (51,124 issued, 11,633 received)
  3. Ann Arbor: 47,645 (43,827 issued, 3,108 received)
  4. Livonia: 35,722 (35,457 issued, 8,071 received)
  5. Sterling Heights: 34,815 (33,670 issued, 3,836 received)

More than 450 communities have had at least 1,000 people request an absentee ballot so far.

Michigan residents can check their voter registration, register to vote and track the status of their absentee ballot at Michigan.gov/vote.

The state is also launching an advertising effort this week to put ads on social media, the internet, TV and the back of ATM receipts to

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