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Canton Township Man Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Election Law Violation

LANSING – The Canton Township man accused of forging his daughter’s signature on an absentee voter ballot in the November general election was sentenced to probation Tuesday after pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Paul Parana, 47, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a 90-day misdemeanor election law violation and was sentenced to 90 days probation and ordered to pay court costs and fees of roughly $1,100 by Judge Deborah Thomas in Wayne County Circuit Court. 

Parana was charged in November with impersonating a voter, a four-year felony, and election law forgery, a five-year felony.

“While voter fraud rarely occurs, we are vigilant in pursuing such activity when it does,” Nessel said. “This is an example of how my office reviews legitimate claims of voter fraud to discover the facts and prosecute according to the law.” 

“Michigan’s election was the most secure in our state’s history, and the results accurately reflect the will of the voters,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “Despite unprecedented scrutiny we continue to affirm the security and integrity of the process with our zero tolerance policy for any incident of fraud.”

Investigators found that prior to the Nov. 3 election, an absentee voter ballot addressed to Parana’s daughter arrived at his home, and rather than forward the ballot to his daughter, Parana filled out the ballot as she instructed. He then forged her name to the back of the ballot envelope and mailed it to the Canton Township Clerk’s Office.

After discovering the fraudulent ballot, the clerk’s office then reported the situation to the Michigan Department of State for investigation. The daughter’s ballot was ultimately accepted after the township clerk contacted her and was able to obtain her valid signature on an affidavit. This was done according to procedures established by law.

Countless allegations of widespread fraud in the November general election have been made with no proof to support those claims. Courts and judges – both state and federal – have dismissed the cases that sought to undermine the results of the election, due to the inability of plaintiffs to prove their claims.