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Welcome to Michigan Radio’s coverage page for the 2012 Election.If you’re looking for more information to help with your decisions, you can read our collection of stories about key races featured below.You can also check out our Guide to the Ballot Proposals.

Election fraud and the case of the two John Scotts

Oakland County Michigan

2012 just may go down as the year of election fraud in Michigan.  After scandals involving Jase Bolger and Thad McCotter, now it's the case of the two John Scotts.

The elder Scott is the Republican commissioner of Oakland County. He says this summer he heard about another John Scott, this one a 22-year-old Eastern Michigan University college student,  who was gathering signatures to get on the ballot as an independent. 

It got weirder when one of the Republican's friends traced a petitioner's license plate, and says he found the car belonged to still a third candidate in the race:  Democrat Alexandria Riley. 

Commissioner Scott says he smelled a rat. "So here I have my democrat opponent, driving around people getting signatures to put another person on the ballot with the same name as mine."

So Scott says he started checking out the petitions for this other John Scott, and he found something else fishy: according to the the paperwork, the petitions were supposedly circulated by John Scott, but people who signed the petitions say they were asked to sign by a woman.  

Now the Oakland County prosecutor's office say they're pressing charges against the younger John Scott for elections fraud. 

Commissioner John Scott says he thinks this was all a plot to confuse the voters, and give the Democratic candidate a leg up.  "I just think that they all know each other somehow and then came up with this brainstorm idea, and thought well this would just be another way to get their friend elected."

We tried to contact the second John Scott, as well as Alexandria Riley and their attorney, but they haven't returned our requests for comment. 


Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.