Inside and outside of Oakland

The only certainty about elections in Detroit: No one's ever sure who wins

Mike Duggan

  A tweet from Dustin Blitchok at The Oakland Press on news that the vote total in Detroit's mayoral primary Aug. 6 between Benny Napoleon and Mike Duggan was off by more than 20,000 votes:
  "My lede, if I were writing the Napoleon/Duggan story: Janice Winfrey's calculator needs new batteries."
  Winfrey is Detroit's city clerk, in charge of overseeing elections in the city.

  News outlets are reporting that Napoleon picked up a few hundred votes and Duggan lost more than 20,000 during the official canvassing.
  It doesn't change the outcome: Both Napoleon and Duggan will still be on the November ballot in a runoff to become Detroit's next mayor. They just flipped positions.
Benny Napoleon
  But if true, it's more than Detroit's finances that are severely messed up. Election totals generally don't change by more than a dozen votes at most, but whether it's election fraud remains to be seen.
  Detroit's mayoral primary was anything but normal with Duggan as a write-in candidate. Is it possible that so many people couldn't write Duggan's name properly when the officials canvassing began?
 In any event, it's messed up enough where Napoleon is already calling for oversight of the November general election either by the Department of Justice or Federal Election Commission.
  In that, Duggan may agree.

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