STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WLNS) — A man who unsuccessfully ran for Sterling Heights City Council is facing felony charges related to ballot application forgeries, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday.

Paul Manni, 27, is charged with the following in Macomb County’s 41-A District Court:

  • nine counts of forging a signature on an absent voter ballot application, five-year felonies; and
  • nine counts of making a false statement on an absent voter ballot application, 90-day misdemeanors.

Manni was arraigned on Aug. 5.

The charges stem from the November 2021 election.

Leading up to the election, the City Clerk for Sterling Heights said he noticed that Manni had personally dropped off around 50 absentee voter applications with his signature.

Manni indicated that he was delivering the applications at the voters’ request. 

The clerk staff then reached out to nine of the voters to verify that they wanted to vote via absentee ballot.

Each of the nine voters advised that they did not seek to apply for an absentee ballot.

The clerk then contacted the Bureau of Elections (BOE) to report the suspected fraud, which prompted an investigation.

According to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office, none of the applications turned in by Manni resulted in a valid ballot going to the voter.

These charges prove the state’s signature matching standards and other election security checks and balances catch instances of wrongdoing, prompt thorough investigations and result in appropriate action. I appreciate our ongoing partnership with the BOE to root out attempts to undermine our elections.”

Dana Nessel

A probable cause conference is scheduled for Yanni on Aug. 18 at 1 p.m.