Moments after the recount of Detroit’s mayoral race ballots began Tuesday, the first hand went up from a challenger citing an issue. Other hands were soon to follow. So went the first day of recounting ballots after former mayoral candidate Tom Barrow and others alleged fraud in the elections process in several city races. “This is an investigation,” Barrow said Tuesday at Cobo Center, where the recount was being conducted. “We’re seeing thousands of ballots in the same handwriting. All for the write-in. All for (mayoral candidate) Mike Duggan. These are clearly fraudulent ballots — and we’re just getting started.” Tuesday morning, Wayne County Director of Elections Delphine Oden told observers and poll workers that once ballots were taken from ballot boxes, county workers assembled for the recount would begin by holding some ballots faceup, giving challengers from the various campaigns time to examine them, before putting them facedown and moving through the votes.
Barrow’s allegations of fraud include, among other things, that the number of applications for absentee ballots was lower than the number of absentee votes cast, and that similar handwriting appears on several ballots cast for Duggan, who will face Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon in November’s general election.
Elections workers also were advised to mark write-in ballots with sticky notes so as to come back to those with ambiguous spellings. Among the approved write-in candidates were Mike Duggan and Mike Dugeon, but names including Mick Duggan, The White Guy Mike Duggan and Barber Micheal Thaddeus Dugeon also were accepted.