Polling Problems: Doors Closed, Voters Frisked In Detroit

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An election worker tries to calm voters after they waited over an hour to vote in Michigan's August Primary in Detroit. (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas)

An election worker tries to calm voters after they waited over an hour to vote in Michigan’s August Primary in Detroit. (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas)

vickiethomas2 Vickie Thomas
Vickie Thomas is the City Beat Reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950. She was...
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DETROIT (WWJ) - Some Detroit voters were very frustrated while trying to cast their ballots Tuesday morning on the city’s west side.

WWJ’s Vickie Thomas said voting started about an hour and a half late at Henry Ford High School, on Evergreen Road just south of 8 Mile, after elections workers could not get inside the building. The person who was supposed to open the school reportedly didn’t wake up in time to open the doors when polls opened at 7 a.m.

The school is now part of the Education Achievement Authority and Chief of Staff Tyrone Winfrey, the city clerk’s husband, blames new personnel for the huge oversight of not having the building open on time.

Unlike some voters who left after being told they couldn’t get inside to vote, Detroiter Dorian Reeves arrived at 6:55 a.m. to cast his ballot and patiently waited for the doors to open.

“I’m not deterred, oh no. Ain’t going to let nobody turn me around, turn me around, turn me around. Ain’t going to let nobody turn me around, I’m going to keep on waiting and keep on waiting. I’m voting before the day is through,” said Reeves, as he broke out in song.

Not only did the polls open late, some voters were patted down as they entered the west side high school.

Detroit NAACP Executive Director Darnell Wright went to the school after getting a call on their voter hotline.

“There was indeed an individual who was frisking individuals and winding down for weapons, as well as an individual dressed in military fatigues, both of which we believe is a form of voter intimidation,” said Wright.

Among the issues Detroiters will vote on is a millage to support the Detroit Institute of Arts, as well a 10-year millage renewal to help fund the Wayne County jail system.

For information on Tuesday’s primary election, including results as they become available, click here.

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