The name of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is among the nearly 800 Adam Hollier petition signatures incumbent Michigan 13th District U.S. Rep. Shri Thanedar is seeking to toss out due to suspected fraud.

Despite Michigan’s Democrat SOS being touted as a champion protector of the state’s election process, she has become entangled in what Thanedar has labeled “fraudulent” activity.

Go Ad-Free, Get Content, Go Premium Today - $1 Trial

In a text to The Midwesterner, Thanedar said that Londell Thomas, who collected 791 petition signatures on behalf of Hollier, “appears to be a fraudulent circulator.” One of those signatures belongs to Benson and another is Mary Ellen Gurewitz, chair of the state Board of Canvassers.

Since the alleged fraud was exposed earlier this week, the website for Thomas’ Groundmind Strategies, has been switched from public to private.

But the Detroit Free Press reports that voter data expert Mark Grebner of Practical Political Consulting determined some of the signatures collected by Thomas are illegitimate because some are duplicated, other “signers aren’t registered to vote or are registered to vote at a different address than the one written on the petition, signers who live outside the 13th District, or who haven’t properly listed their cities of residence, or pages lacking adequate documentation by the petition circulator.”

Even more egregious is the impression that 85 signatures are outright forgeries.

Go Ad-Free, Get Content, Go Premium Today - $1 Trial

“If you can see that it was forged while holding it at arm’s length, it’s not a good forgery,” Grebner told The Free Press.

A review of the petition Benson signed shows her signature is dated after circulator Londell Thomas signed it.


Benson signed Feb. 25, 2024. Thomas signed it Feb. 24, 2024.

One thousand signatures are required for an individual to become a candidate. Hollier submitted 1,555 signatures, and Thanedar claims only 764 of those signatures are permissible.

Hollier initially told the Free Press that Thanedar is employing “legal tricks” to disqualify him from the election.

Later, however, Hollier softened his tone: “Some issues have been brought to our attention related to a small number of the nomination signatures that were collected on behalf of our campaign. We have retained legal counsel to look into the matter, and are confident that a significant number of the challenges filed against our signatures are erroneous.”

Hollier served in the Michigan Senate from 2018 to January 2023. Thanedar, a former gubernatorial candidate, was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in Nov. 2022. His first term began Jan. 3, 2023 and concludes on Jan. 3, 2025.

The Midwesterner reached out to SOS Benson’s office for comment but, as of press time, has not received a response.