DETROIT (WWJ) – It was history in the making, as Detroit mayoral hopeful Mike Duggan walked away as the leading vote-getter in the primary election — despite running as a write-in candidate.
Now, the process of formerly certifying those results has begun.
Under a new state law adopted in June, that responsibility falls on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers. Previously, county boards did not certify city elections.
“The staff will compile a list of all spelling variations, and we will be reviewing them one by one,” said the board’s chair, Carol Larkin.
Larkin said they’re not counting votes, stressing that the board’s job is verify the paperwork done by local officials. The board will review the write-ins and determine how they are counted.
They may accept variations in the spelling of a write-in candidate’s name, if the candidate’s identity can be “determined without doubt,” according to Larkin.
Variations appearing on ballots that could be counted for Duggan include: The White Guy Mike Duggan, Mike Duggan the Whiteman, Mike Dugga, Mick Duggan, Mike Duggon, and multiple similar spellings.
Melvin Butch Hollowell, a member of the Duggan campaign, told WWJ’s Jon Hewett his candidate received 44,000 “clean votes,” in what he called a stunningly successful election.
“People had to find the place on the ballot, they had to write in Mike Duggan, and then had to fill in that oval — and they did that — one, two, three, to a tee,” he said.
Hollowell said Detroit voters sent a message Tuesday.
“They’re saying, I don’t care if your’e black or brown or blue or green. Are you gonna get my street lights on? Are you gonna get the grass cut; and are the police gonna come?
“They want somebody with a track record, not somebody who’s gonna devide us,” Hollowell said.
Other standout names written in included Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Daffy Duck, Kevin Orr, LL Cool J, and Jesus Christ. [See the unofficial write-in summary, HERE]
By law, the board has 14 days to certify the results.
Barring a successful legal challenge, it appears Duggan will face Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon in the November general election.