Absentee ballots tainted?
Some Detroit voters are incapacitated, without valid addresses, raising question of mayoral election’s fairness.
Detroit News investigation raises serious questions about the handling of absentee ballots under Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie as the city prepares to choose a mayor, City Council and school board Nov. 8.
Currie has been accused of irregular election practices in several lawsuits, and a review of election results, property records and databases of registered voters uncovered procedures that experts and other election officials described as questionable.
Among findings by News reporters were ballots cast by people registered to vote at abandoned and long-demolished buildings; a master voter list with 380,000 incorrect names and addresses — including people who have died or moved out of the city; and a practice of hand-delivering ballots from senior citizens and disabled voters that were filled out in private meetings with Currie’s paid election workers.
If the mayoral race came down to a close vote demanding a recount of absentee ballots, the result could be chaotic.
But the most poignant findings were stories from those in nursing homes who had recently voted absentee.
Among them is Charles B. Allen, a resident at the Passion Caring Home for the Elderly who stared blankly one day last week when asked to name the mayor of Detroit. He’s never heard of Kwame Kilpatrick and can’t recall whether he voted in August.
“I just don’t know,” Allen said. Six years ago, a Wayne County probate judge declared the 87-year-old legally incapacitated due to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
But according to city records, he voted in the August primary by absentee ballot.
This is serious business. If all this is verified, Jackie Currie is in big trouble.