A Wayne County judge will hold a hearing Wednesday over a request to halt counting of absentee ballots in Dearborn Heights suspected of potential election fraud. Judge Robert Colombo Jr. scheduled a 9 a.m. Wednesday hearing after a state Senate candidate sued and sought a temporary restraining order to set aside certain absentee votes cast in Tuesday’s primary. State Rep. David Nathan, one of six Democrats running in the 5th Senate District primary, filed a lawsuit late Monday seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Dearborn Heights Clerk Walter Prusiewicz from counting absentee ballots. Colombo’s clerk confirmed late Tuesday a hearing has been scheduled. Nathan’s attorney said the judge planned to issue an overnight injunction.
Last week, Prusiewicz alerted the Attorney General’s Office and state Bureau of Elections that he suspected voter fraud at play after two men dropped off more than 250 absentee ballot applications in two separate batches. It’s illegal to solicit voters to fill out absentee ballot applications. None of the applications was signed by the individuals who delivered them to City Hall as required by law, Prusiewicz said.
But under the advice of state officials, Prusiewicz has said he issued absentee ballots to all but 35 of the absentee voter applicants. Those denied were either not registered voters, no longer Dearborn Heights residents or their signatures did not match those on file with the clerk’s office. In one case, a voter submitted two applications.
“The concerns of impropriety raised by the city clerk for the city of Dearborn Heights are substantial and appear to point to a significant attempt to rig the election by way of voter fraud,” Nathan’s complaint said.