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Man pleads guilty to threatening Michigan official over 2020 election

An Indiana man pleaded guilty Tuesday to threatening to kill a Michigan elections clerk after the November 2020 election, federal prosecutors announced.

A week after the presidential election that put Joe Biden in the White House, Andrew Nickels of Carmel, Ind., left a voice mail for Rochester Hills, Mich., Clerk Tina Barton in which he said she deserved a “throat to the knife” because she had “frauded out America of a real election, ” the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Michigan said in a news release.

Barton (R) was one of many election workers across the country who faced threats during and after the 2020 election, when many of President Donald Trump’s supporters claimed the election was fraudulent. Few instances of fraud were found.

Steven Scharg, an attorney representing Nickels, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon. Scharg told the Detroit News that the case shows “how mental health affects so many people.”

Nickels, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of making a threatening interstate communication, according to the news release, and he faces up to five years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 9.

In a post on X, Barton called the plea “a win for election officials all over the country.” She added that the threats she received had “permanently impacted me and my family’s lives.”

“I will never be able to turn back the clock and go back to living in a sense of peace and security as I had done prior to this incident, “Barton wrote. “I strongly believe that election officials should never be intimidated, threatened, or harassed for doing their jobs serving the public.”

News of Nickels’ guilty plea came the same day as the presidential primaries in Michigan, where Trump, Biden and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley are competing for the 2024 ballot, another race workers anticipate will bring more unrest.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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