GOP claims Democrats are behind fraud

The Michigan Tea Party, which is considered by many Republicans and tea party activists to be a Democrat-supported group, may have submitted forged signatures in an effort to get Tea Party candidates on the ballot.

Representative Candice Miller, of the Harrison Township, said the Michigan Tea Party should "be prosecuted to the full extent of the law" for "brazen fraud" by allegedly submitting forged candidate affidavits to election officials, the Detroit Free Press reports.

"Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson, now the Republican secretary of state nominee, requested an investigation after she found what she suspects is fraud in nominating some Tea Party candidates," reports the Associated Press. "Johnson has said at least one person listed as a 'The Tea Party' candidate has said he was nominated without his knowledge and his signature may have been forged on official paperwork."

Although the Supreme Court of Michigan barred all of the Tea Party's 23 candidates from appearing on the state's November ballot in a September ruling, an Oakland County Circuit Court has authorized a grand jury to investigate alleged forgeries in documents submitted by the Michigan Tea Party.

A handwriting analysis commissioned by the Michigan Republican Party claims to have found at least three forgeries. "State GOP attorney Eric Doster said Wednesday that he expects the handwriting analysis to become part of the grand jury investigation," as the Detroit Free Press reports.

Republicans claim the Michigan Tea Party is a front for Democrats hoping to draw voters away from the GOP.

An employee of the Oakland County Democratic Party was forced to resign after it was uncovered that he was listed as the notary on numerous candidate filings for the Michigan Tea Party.

The Michigan Democratic Party has denied having any involvement with the Tea Party.

Similar accusations have been launched at New Jersey's Tea Party candidate Peter DeStefano. The state GOP committee has claimed Democrats helped DeStefano get on the ballot to siphon away votes from Republican candidate Jon Runyan.