The Michigan Court of Appeals today tossed out a lower court’s restraining order that could have irreparably delayed the Board of State Canvassers’ review of Detroit’s mayoral election. A three-judge appeals panel ruled that Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk’s order issued Thursday in a lawsuit brought by Detroit City Clerk candidate D. Etta Wilcoxon was made moot because the canvassers had already completed their review of disputed write-in ballots from the city’s Aug. 6 primary election. The judges — Donald Owens, Michael Kelly and Amy Ronayne Krause — also ruled that the board “must be permitted to fulfill its statutory duty to certify the election results” within a 10-day period, as required by state law, and that the canvassers’ work will not harm a recount of ballots sought by Wilcoxon. PDF: Court of Appeals lifts restraining order
The ruling, which threw out a possible delay that could have moved the canvassers’ decision beyond its Tuesday deadline to certify Detroit’s election results, came after the state’s top election official revealed earlier today in an affidavit in the case that Mike Duggan won even more votes than originally tallied — about 4,000 more — on election night by Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey’s staff. The new count means Duggan likely won more than 50% of all votes cast for mayor, an unheard-of outcome given that Duggan was forced to run as a write-in.
State Elections Director Chris Thomas said in the affidavit filed in Ingham County Circuit Court today that the state’s canvassing of the write-in votes found Duggan actually won 48,716 votes, not the 44,395 that Winfrey’s office reported on Aug. 6.