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State count says Duggan has more votes

State Elections Director Chris Thomas

State Elections Director Chris Thomas

LANSING – State Elections Director Chris Thomas says retabulation of Detroit mayoral votes ended before judge’s order to halt the recount and certification process.

In a an affidavit filed in Ingham County Circuit Court Aug. 30, Thomas said the state’s canvassing of votes for write-in candidate Mike Duggan was 4,000 more votes than the 44,395 votes City Clerk Janice Winfrey reported Aug. 6, the night of the election.  Thomas says the state found that Duggan had  48, 716 votes.

When the State Board of Canvassers met Aug. 27, Thomas told the public that the voting process would take a week and certification would be on Sept. 3.

His affidavit was in response to a lawsuit filed Aug. 29 by candidate for city clerk D. Etta Wilcoxon.  Wilcoxon’s suit claims the Board went beyond the state constitution in their process of retabulating the write-in votes.

“Defendant State Board of Canvassers unlawful and illegal conduct is putting in jeopardy the ability of the Plaintiff to request a recount of the votes cast in the Aug. 2013 primary election,” Wilcoxon’s attorney Drew Patterson told the Michigan Citizen.  “Thus, immediate action is necessary in order to remedy the unlawful and illegal actions of the Defendant.”

Patterson says the state’s count is a result of a personal relationship between Elections Director Thomas and candidate Duggan.

“Unfortunately, the personal politics of the State Director of Elections and his personal affiliations to Mike Duggan for Mayor Committee has caused him to continue to purposely misconstrue and interpret Michigan Law in an effort to assist the candidate of his choice.”

Thomas was not available for comment by the time of publication.

A show cause hearing is scheduled for Sept. 3.

-Staff Report 

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