The Board of State Canvassers unanimously voted Tuesday to certify Detroit’s primary election results and declare former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan the top vote-getter in the Aug. 6 contest. The results were certified by the two Democrats and two Republicans, but an attorney indicated there will be an effort next week to decertify the mayoral primary election results. The state’s tally shows Duggan with 48,716 votes or 51.7 percent of the vote to Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon’s 28,391 votes or 30.1 percent. The state stepped into the primary vote-counting controversy when the Wayne County Board of Canvassers didn’t certify the vote counts of the county clerk or Detroit clerk. But Tuesday’s certification of the primary vote will start recount efforts filed to Wayne County, which could take weeks to complete. Absentee ballots for the general election are set to be sent to voters on Sept. 21. Officials expressed concern a recount could delay absentee ballots being mailed.
Duggan gained 24,750 votes more than Wayne County’s tally and 4,300 more than Detroit’s count of the Aug. 6 primary election, according to the unofficial state count included Friday in Attorney General Bill Schuette’s appeal of an Ingham County judge’s temporary restraining order.
State Elections Director Chris Thomas told the four-member board that staffers looked through nearly 400 precincts in about 48 hours. Staffers were trained and given a standard tally sheet to work from.
In the end, Thomas said Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey ran a lawful election. Still, staffers no seals two voer precict containers and one abseentee ballot precinct; open or broken seals on two precincts and seal numbers that didn’t match on in three precincts. There were no ballots in one container.
“I don’t see that it was anything out of the ordinary,” Thomas said. “Yes, it unfortunate there were a few unsealed boxes, but in terms of the inregrity of them, no. Had the Wayne County Board been able to do what they should have done, this would have been done a long time ago.”