Wayne County board votes not to validate Detroit mayoral election and sends it to state for review

(WXYZ) - Detroit's mayoral race results are in limbo after the Wayne County Board of Canvassers decided to not validate the votes. They've asked the Board of State Canvassers to review the results.

About 18,000 of the 44,000 votes cast for Mayoral candidate Mike Duggan are in jeopardy, which could change the election result making his opponent Benny Napoleon the winner with 28,391 votes.

The votes are in question because city election workers failed to use hash-marks to tally the votes in question, but instead  used numbers to tabulate them.

In a written statement, Duggan's campaign manager Bryan Barnhill says, "Our opponents tried another dirty trick today and it didn't work. To its credit, the Board of Canvassers unanimously refused to disenfranchise 18,000 Detroiters who properly cast their write-in votes for Mike Duggan. We're confident the State Elections Division will certify the results of the election properly and make certain that all votes are counted."

Barnhill did not say what dirty trick was involved in today's vote dispute at the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.

In reference to Duggan's remarks about dirty tricks, Napoleon responded, "You know, if you put, 'Once upon a time,' in front of that statement, it'll make good fairy tale. I don't know anything about this, and I have nothing to do with this."

Napoleon answered Duggan's comments with a written statement saying "Now that Mike Duggan has moved to town from Livonia, he gets to call me dirty?" Regardless of how state canvassers review the results, the gloves seem to have already come off.
"This is the way Benny Napoleon has been from the beginning," said Duggan, "Us versus them, divisive kind of rhetoric. It's why he did so poorly in the primary."
"Every time Mike stumbles and stubs his toe, he wants to blame it on somebody else." said Napoleon, "Mike needs to take responsibility for the incompetence of his own campaign."

In a tweet Tuesday, Napoleon responded to all this with: "This is no small margin of error in #vote tally. It's very troubling. I call for federal oversight of November election. A citizen's vote is the cornerstone of Democracy, and people should be able to put their faith in their ballot. #Detroit"

Several community activists at the board meeting are calling for a recount. Tom Barrow, the mayoral candidate who received less than 4% of the vote, has said the election was "fraught with massive fraud."

The county certified eight other community votes, but is waiting to vote on the Detroit races.

Stay with Action News as we update this developing story.


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