Janice Winfrey responds to election return snafu - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Janice Winfrey responds to election return snafu

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

"This is not about me and my work, but rather, this is about Wayne County and their board of canvassers.  As far as I am concerned our work ended August 6th," says Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. 

Watch Taryn Asher's full video report above.

On Wednesday, Winfrey called a press conference to respond to the Wayne County Board of Canvassers failure to certify Detroit's primary election results from August 6th. 

County canvassers refused to certify the election because tallies for write-in ballots from 179 precincts were done numerically and not with hash marks.

Winfrey says, "Whether one determines or decides to use a tally mark to represent a number on a work sheet or a whole number to represent such, a five is still a five and the value of the number does not change."

Winfrey continued, "What does matter is what is indicated on the official documents.  Those being the optical scan statement of votes and the poll book write-in-only page.  Both are official documents and neither were questioned."

The state will now take a look at about 18,000 write-in ballots that Wayne County canvassers say may not have been tallied correctly.
 
Michigan Elections Director Chris Thomas says Wednesday that state canvassers may meet next week in Detroit and that it would take a day or so to count the ballots.

Unofficial results showed Mike Duggan received 44,395 write-in votes. The county said it counted about 24,000 valid votes for Duggan and about 28,300 for county Sheriff Benny Napoleon.
 
Napoleon and Duggan still will face off in the November general election.

Winfrey said, "The board of canvassers job is to perfect returns -- to clarify them no to disqualify them. If there were doubts or issues, the county clerk should have notified me or my staff.  they did not."

She continued, "I did receive a daily report from my staff, who were present each day during the canvas and they reported all was going well and there were no issues.  I like many of you was taken aback when Ms. Andersen, corporation counsel for the county, waited until the last minute to surprise the board such controversial information that could have easily been verified by simply hand counting the ballots.  Instead the board chose not to certify."

Winfrey questioned procedure when she said, "It's common place for boards of canvassers in the state of Michigan to call in precinct workers to validate or make corrections when issues occur -- that did not happen."

Winfrey said, "It is disturbing that one would attempt to disqualify any vote that is cast by the people.  It smacks democracy in the face, the very principal by which our country was found."

Winfrey finished her press conference by saying that all further questions should be directed to Wayne County and its clerk.

(The AP contributed to this report)

 

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