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Barry County prosecutor criticizes sheriff’s ongoing 2020 election probe

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Barry County prosecutor is questioning the sheriff’s use of county resources to continue to investigate claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Prosecutor Julie Nakfoor Pratt said the claims are unsubstantiated and the investigation is leaving the department short on detectives to review other cases.

“There was no probable cause. It wasn’t insufficient; there was none,” Nakfoor Pratt said Tuesday, speaking in front of the Barry County Commission.

“I was asked at the fair, ‘Don’t you care about voter fraud?’ I care. I care about everything that comes across my desk, but I will not put my signature on something if it’s not there,” she continued.

Pratt said the sheriff’s office is down to one detective investigating crimes after one left in June and that the sheriff has assigned a deputy to focus on voter fraud investigations.

“I’m really concerned because now we’re down to one — and when I say one, I’m talking about one — detective that deals with actual violent crime,” Nakfoor Pratt said.

She said there is simply no evidence of voter fraud in Barry County.

“I am a Republican but I can guarantee you 100%, but I really don’t care what your affiliation is when I’m at my job,” Nakfoor Pratt said.

Sheriff Dar Leaf continued to make allegations against the manufacturers of the voting machines.

“Also we’ve had whistleblower come up who were actually working in Venezuela,” Leaf said at the commission meeting. “These are computerized, ladies and gentleman. You can program to anything you want.”

Dominion voting machines have a paper ballot record for every vote cast that can be recounted and the machines are not connected to the internet. Leaf claims the machines were not properly certified.

“You can program these tabulators to even jam. That’s what they’re doing in Venezuela. So what they do they switch the old tabulator out with a new one — sound familiar? — and flip their election,” Leaf said.

Leaf told News 8 over the phone Wednesday that the prosecutor does not have access to all the information in his investigation, does not understand the cybersecurity component of his concerns and would not listen to an expert he had at a meeting. The sheriff went on to say his office will do a better job of proving its case.

Leaf is accused of orchestrating the removal of a voting machine from Irving Township in 2021 that was later returned with a broken security seal. He is one of the nine people who could face charges for their efforts to get access to voting machines. Muskegon County’s D.J. Hilson has been appointed the special prosecutor to handle that investigation because one of the nine people is Matt DePerno, the political opponent of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.