A local official in Flint, Michigan, who tampered with a voting machine during her own election in 2020, received a six-month house arrest term on Monday for official misconduct.
Former Flint Township Clerk Kathy Funk, a Democrat, was charged with tampering with a ballot box’s seal to prevent a recount of the results. The Associated Press said that Funk was ordered to wear an ankle monitor and to publicly apologize for her behavior during the election.
At her Monday sentence, Judge Mark Latchana remarked, “I’m sure there’s a portion of the general public that believes you deserve to be locked up for bringing into question the accuracy of an election. And perhaps that would be the case if we had infinite jail space. Though we don’t.”
Funk allegedly tampered with the ballot box after votes were cast in the primary election for her position as township clerk in 2020, disqualifying the ballots from a recount. Although the township clerk secured her primary election by only 79 votes, there had been no recount. Later that fall, she went on to victory in the general election.
Funk reported to the police that someone had broken the vote box seal and entered the town hall where the ballots had been kept. The court reprimanded her for her break-in idea during her sentencing, according to the AP.
In 2021, the 59-year-old woman left her job as township clerk to take the elections supervisor post in Genesee County. As her criminal prosecution was ongoing, Funk was let go of her position as elections supervisor last year.
Funk pleaded “no contest” in January, and the prosecution agreed to keep her out of jail. According to Michigan Radio, misconduct in office constitutes a felony punished by as much as five years in jail.
In addition to the fines Latchana also gave Funk a 24-month probationary period.
Flint Township Supervisor Karyn Miller stated, “I am not sure how I feel about the punishment. But I’m glad the court was quite clear that it was her fault and that she must take responsibility for it.”