State monitors will oversee primary election in Dearborn Heights

(WXYZ) - Earlier this week, it was standing room only for a city council meeting where dozens of upset Arab-Americans packed city hall saying absentee ballots with Arab-sounding names were delayed by the city clerk in an effort to suppress their vote come Tuesday's primary election. 

Representatives from the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee filed a complaint with the state Bureau of Elections.

In a letter received from Michigan's Department of State dated today, Director of Elections Sally Williams states "based on the information that has been presented by you (the ADC) and Clerk Walter Prusiewicz it appears clear that hundreds of absentee ballot requests have been illegally handled, solicited from voters, and submitted by the clerk's office by a small number of individuals. The investigation of these issues is ongoing and may result in criminal charges."

As the claims against him were heating up in Dearborn Heights, Prusiewicz resigned, but that's effective after the August 5th election.

On Friday, state monitors visited city hall and reported all procedures by the clerk were being properly followed, but they will continue to monitor his performance.

As for the claim of delayed absentee ballots, the Bureau of Elections did not find one ballot delayed, citing a small number held up for signature discrepancies.

Nonetheless, the Bureau of Elections will have staff present on Tuesday's primary election day to monitor the city's handling of ballots.  

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