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Local officials respond to FOIA from ‘Emily’

August 29, 2018

City and township officials in Mason County and across the state were rocked last week by a mysterious Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all copies of all Election Day ballots and personal absentee voter information from the 2016 presidential election.

The request came from an organization called United Impact Group with a listed address in Astoria, New York, which is in Queens. It did not contain an explanation or reason for the request.

The letter was signed, simply, “Emily.”

The City of Ludington on Monday shared its copy of the letter, which included a contact phone number and email address, with the Daily News, and LDN staff subsequently reached out to the group seeking a comment about the motives behind the statewide FOIA request, but has not heard back at this time.

Representatives from local municipalities said the requests started to filter into the county around Monday, Aug. 20 and have now made their way to every township and city in the county.

United Impact Group has asked every municipality for Election Day ballots and related materials including copies of all ballots cast and counted, ballots cast and not counted, the reason any ballots were not counted and all rejected or spoiled ballots.

Also requested are copies of all absentee ballots and provisional ballots and the reasons why any were deemed ineligible or not counted. United Impact Group has also asked for “any and all records” containing the names and information about absentee voters.

Read the full story in Tuesday’s Ludington Daily News print and e-Editions

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