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A pillar of faith

In a democracy, no matter what the country, when someone goes into the election booth to vote he or she leaves expecting that “one person, one vote” rules the day and the result of the election is the will of the people. This is not a hope or a wish, but rather an expectation, where one of the pillars to a democracy and a fundamental part of the American way of life is the ballot box.  Generations of American men and women have died for that belief.

When this expectation is not realized because someone tampers with the process by removing votes and replaces them with fraudulent ones, the situation changes from a fundamental democratic process to one of the greatest violations of our civil rights.  Just such an accusation has been leveled at the City of Detroit’s August primary election.

This makes the Detroit primary election no longer a Detroit issue, an African American issue or a Democrat/Republican issue, but rather an issue of crime that affects all Americans. I wanted to see if there was fraud, first hand.  To accomplish this objective, I participated in the election recount held at Cobo Hall. Being there, I saw things that were highly irregular.

The first ballot box I sat down at had poll books stating there were 147 votes tallied. There were 147 signatures in the poll book. The three signatures on the back of the poll book said there were 147 votes. The calculator tape indicated there were 147 votes. When the ballot box was unsealed and the ballots counted, it was short 60 votes. This was not the first or the last time this was seen.

I was able to photograph the write-in ballots in several precincts and there was a similarity in multiple sets of handwriting. There was a repeating pattern as if the signatures were each written by several people or a machine that could provide similar letters but placed in differing sequences. There were over 400 Detroit precincts recounted and the similarity went across the precincts.

The question of fraud is not just about missing ballots, or too many votes in a ballot box, or questions about absentee votes, or the similarity of signatures on the ballots, it is also about the American people’s resolve to stop being manipulated by organized crime. This is not a political matter. It is a criminal matter and to that effect, I am willing to put my political, professional, and personal reputation on the line with this issue.

Detroit’s August primary would have been just like any other election, where only the grossest of mistakes could be detected. If the ballot had all printed names, where the voter only had be to color in a circle, then there would have been no way to audit the ballots and therefore detect any fraud. In this case, one candidate was able to go to court and get another candidate removed from the ballot. Continued participation in the election required the removed candidate to run as a write-in candidate. By forcing the voter to write a name in the box, made it easier to look for similarities indicating fraud.

It is as if the system is just going through the motions prescribed by law. The people doing the fraud investigation are not being taken seriously. If the reason is because they are mainly African American, I can say I am not African American. If it is because they are former candidates, I can say I am not, because I already hold elective office. Perhaps it is because they are from the city of Detroit, but I am not. I am not concerned about the politics of the city of Detroit or the people who would be candidates, but I am concerned about ballot box tampering by organized crime, since it affects us all.

There were thousands of ballots tampered with by various people.

— James Bailey

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