Dominion Voting Systems accuses ex-Michigan senator of 'disinformation campaign'
Lansing — Dominion Voting Systems is demanding that Patrick Colbeck, a former Michigan lawmaker, retract "false claims" he's been making about the company in PowerPoint presentations.
Dominion sent Colbeck, who's from Canton, a letter on Friday, according to a document obtained by The Detroit News. The company says Colbeck is waging a "disinformation campaign" while touring Michigan to give presentations entitled "Case for MI Decertification," which blames Dominion for "stealing the election" from former President Donald Trump.
"You are knowingly sowing discord in our democracy, all the while soliciting exorbitant amounts of money — totaling over $1 million so far — from your audiences paid directly to your personal business," says the letter signed by attorneys Thomas Clare and Megan Meier.
At one point, the letter vows, "Make no mistake — Dominion will hold you accountable for these lies."
Colbeck didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday.
The former lawmaker is an influential figure among conservative GOP groups in Michigan. He came in third place in the GOP primary race for governor in 2018 with 13% of the vote. Then-Attorney General Bill Schuette received 51%, and then-Lt. Gov. Brian Calley got 25%.
Colbeck has spoken at multiple rallies at the state Capitol in recent months, including a Jan. 6 event where he told the crowd that Democrat Joe Biden, who beat Trump by 154,000 votes in Michigan, wasn't the president-elect.
"It is propaganda. They are trying to convince you of that," he said.
Colbeck also presented at a Dec. 1 Michigan Senate hearing, where he asserted that election equipment at TCF Center in Detroit allowed fraud to take place. TCF Center is where absentee ballots were counted in Michigan's largest city, which is also a Democratic stronghold.
He was the first person to appear before the Senate Oversight Committee on Dec. 1 as the panel took more than six hours of testimony Tuesday. He criticized the media and claimed there was "rampant" voter fraud.
“What I hope to provide you today is just a snippet of information that indicates it was rampant," Colbeck told lawmakers. "It doesn’t have to be rampant to be significant.”
Dominion is a company that provides voting technology in states across the country. Its equipment is used in 66 of Michigan's 83 counties, according to its website. The company has been at the center of unproven claims of voter fraud levied by supporters of Trump, including Colbeck. However, recounts, expert analyses and judicial rulings have discredited many of the allegations.
According to the new letter from Dominion, Colbeck has been giving presentations that feature information that's been "repeatedly debunked by bipartisan election officials, actual election security experts, judges and numerous Trump administration officials and allies."
The letter says Colbeck is claiming that tabulators and computers used in Detroit's election were connected to the internet, which "led to the systems being hacked by nefarious foreign actors from Iran, China and elsewhere." Dominion says Colbeck has no evidence to back up the statement and the claim is false.
In addition, the letter says Colbeck is claiming votes were switched in Antrim, Kent, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.
Northern Michigan's Antrim County is where human errors — the failure to update equipment after late changes to the ballot design in some jurisdictions — led to jumbled results, which initially showed Biden winning the conservative area.
In the end, local election officials identified the problems and determined that Trump had won by more than 3,700 votes in the official results. Supporters of the former president have used the situation to claim there were widespread problems with Dominion's software.
"If foreign countries, hackers, Democrats, space aliens, or anyone else had hacked into the Dominion machines in Antrim County and manipulated the vote tallies in those machines, then the machine tallies would not match the votes on the paper ballots in the possession of the Republican county officials," the Dominion letter says. "In fact, they do match, as confirmed by a hand recount of the paper ballots."
According to a PowerPoint presentation on Colbeck's website letsfixstuff.org, he refers to Antrim County as "the little switch." A slide about Antrim County, on page 25 of the 87-page presentation, makes an unsubstantiated claim: "If you count the paper ballots In each state Trump wins overwhelmingly."
Colbeck's presentation labels Kent, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties as "the big switch."
Dominion said its equipment was not used in Macomb and Oakland counties and claims made by Colbeck that there was a problematic "spike" in votes tallied in Wayne County over a certain period are false.
The attorneys ask Colbeck to "publicly and forcefully retract your false claims about Dominion and set the record straight regarding the fake evidence and fake experts you have put forward."
"There is nothing you can say or do at this point to undo the damage that has been done to Dominion," their letter adds. "The company must therefore expressly reserve all legal rights against you and remind you of your ongoing obligation to preserve all materials that relate in any way to these matters."
Colbeck has been raising money and directing people to donate to a "privately-owned, for-profit business, Perspective Shifts LLC," Dominion says.
A link to contribute on letsfixstuff.org does say donations are going to Perspective Shifts, which is described as "rational, data-driven news and solutions." Colbeck is listed as the entity's resident agency in filings with the state of Michigan.
Dominion has already filed election-related lawsuits against Fox News, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, attorney Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, who served as Trump's personal lawyer.
Colbeck is scheduled to be part of an "election integrity workshop" in Lansing on April 16, organized by the Michigan Conservative Union.