By Jon King /

The trial of a local township clerk charged for an election law violation has been set for early next year.

Genoa Township Clerk Polly Skolarus was charged in March by the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office with a single, misdemeanor charge of Election Law - Failure to Perform Duty. During a recent status conference in 53rd District Court, a trial date of January 28th was scheduled, which will begin with jury selection.

Skolarus has pleaded not guilty plea to the charge, which was filed after an investigation by the Michigan State Police. That report, which was obtained by WHMI through a Freedom of Information Act request, determined that Skolarus was responsible for storing excess absentee ballots used in the November 2020 election in canvas bags that were unapproved by the State Bureau of Elections.

The report said that when Skolarus brought the bags to a subsequent meeting of the Livingston County Board of Canvassers, it was immediately recognized that they were not in legal compliance. While none of the witnesses interviewed for the report could say definitively who provided the bags, Hamburg Township Deputy Clerk Mary Kuzner stated that Skolarus exclaimed “it’s totally all my fault, I told them to use them” while in the hallway outside the canvassers meeting.

If convicted on the misdemeanor charge, Skolarus would face a maximum punishment of 90 days in jail and/or $500 fine.