Three men, including a Hamtramck City Council candidate in August’s primary election, are being charged with returning absentee ballots that did not belong to them, state Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s offices announced today. Hamtramck Deputy City Clerk August Gitschlag told authorities that three people had delivered multiple absentee ballots to City Hall in violation of state election law, which says those in possession of ballots must be the voter, a relative, mail carrier or authorized official.
Salim Ahmed, 50, of Hamtramck is charged with 21 counts of improper possession or return of absentee ballots. Armani Asad, 33, of Hamtramck is charged with 14 counts of improper possession or return of absentee ballots. Mohammed Russell, 32, of Hamtramck is charged with six counts of improper possession or return of absentee ballots. The charges are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine. The men are expected to turn themselves in to authorities and be arraigned Thursday in 31st District Court in Hamtramck, where they will be held on $10,000 bail each.
Asad was a candidate for City Council in the Aug. 6 primary. He finished ninth out of 10 candidates with 307 votes. The top six vote-getters advanced to November’s election to vie for four-year terms. Ahmed was a campaign worker.
The investigation into possible ballot tampering is continuing.