Almost four months after a number of vote tabulating computer cards were discovered missing from the West Bloomfield Township Clerk’s Office, the township Police Department is still actively investigating the matter.
“We’ve made preliminary interviews of several staff members in (Town Hall) and the next course is to expand even further the number of people that will be interviewed,” West Bloomfield Police Chief Michael Patton said. “There’s no indication of anyone outside of township services being identified as a suspect and there are no current suspects in or out of Town Hall.”
The computer cards were discovered missing on the morning of July 11 after they were being tested the previous day in the same secured location from which they disappeared.
On Aug. 2, the township’s Election Commission held a public accuracy test of random voting machines with new vote tabulating computer cards.
West Bloomfield residents then went to the polls for the Aug. 7 primary election, with no major issues reported.
Township Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy has said that if stolen cards were tampered with and used in vote tabulating machines, procedures are in place that would have uncovered the tampering.
Patton also said that there was no sign of forced entry into the Clerk’s Office and added that detectives are looking at security camera footage.
“A review of any footage to confirm statements made in our interviews will be done,” Patton said.
He added that no township Board of Trustees members have yet been interviewed regarding the missing cards, but that if it were necessary, an outside agency would be considered to conduct those interviews.
Patton said that the investigation into the missing voting cards was also sidetracked as the department dealt with the murder of Officer Patrick O’Rourke, who died on Sept. 8 after a fatal shooting that took place at a township residence involving a barricaded gunman who eventually took his own life.
He added that the vote tabulator card investigation is back on track, but said there is no timetable as to when there could be a breakthrough or a resolution to it.
“All we know is that (the cards) are gone and in a situation such as this, you want to make sure that the victims are making sure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” Patton said. “So far, the Clerk’s Office is taking these recommendations to heart.”