While media outlets were quick to point the finger at a North Carolina Republican operative last cycle for absentee ballot fraud, there has been nothing more than a whisper of 38-year-old Sherikia L. Hawkins, a city clerk for Southfield, Michigan, who is now facing six felony charges over election tampering .
Hawkins, the well-known and outwardly spoken partisan Democrat has been formally charged  with a variety of election fraud — including falsifying and forging public records. Moreover, ballots from the 2018 election were found in the trash in her precinct. Despite the charges Hawkins has only been placed on paid administrative leave . Records show she received a six-figure salary.
Upon further investigation by the [Michigan] police, they found records for approximately 200 voters had been altered.
According to an affidavit highlighted by Jack Crowe of the National Review, “The alleged misconduct was discovered after the Oakland County Clerk’s Office noticed that 193 voter files had been changed to reflect that the voters failed to include a valid signature or return date, when all of the implicated voters had in fact included both items.”
Despite Hawkins wrongdoing, she was previously presented with one of the Democratic state party’s most elite awards a couple months ago. Hawkins was presented with the Dingell-Levin Award, which is named after Democratic Rep. John Dingell and former Democratic Sen. Carl Levin.
The Daily Caller noted that the Michigan Democratic Party’s Facebook page praised Hawkins in a public post, and has not removed it.
Huge shoutout to Sherikia L. Hawkins, our Dingell/Levin Award honoree for this year’s MDP Legacy Dinner!
Despite Hawkins altering votes the office of the Democratic Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, said they do not believe Hawkins’ actions altered the outcome of any elections in the state. It is critical to note that Michigan elections are some of the closest in the country.
For example, in 2016 Trump won the state with just about 10,000 votes. The state of Michigan has been marked by both parties as a critical battleground state in 2020. The Republican National Committee and the Trump reelection campaign have already put in place their state director as well as ground troops to register voters in Michigan.
On Monday Hawkins was arraigned and released on $15,000 bond. She has a hearing set for September 30, and another on October 15. Due to the nature of the election crimes she faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. 
Marissa Martinez is the founder of Strategic Rush, contributor for Accuracy in Media, The Hill, and Republican Strategist for PACs, associations, and congressional candidates in battleground states. Follow her stories, @MarissaAlisa