DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit mayoral candidate Mike Duggan picked up more votes on Tuesday as the Wayne County Board of Canvassers went through a long list of write-in names.
With including tens of thousands of votes to review, canvassers have up to 14 days to certify the election results.
More than 96,000 ballots were cast Aug. 6 in the primary which also featured the City Council and city clerk races. Unofficially, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon received 29.6 percent of the vote for mayor. About 52.5 percent of the vote was write-ins. Former medical center chief Mike Duggan received 44,395 write-in votes.
Canvassers have to pore spellings of names on the write-in ballots and decide which candidates get which votes.
The board isn’t counting votes. Rather, it’s the job of canvassers to determine the “intent” of the write-in voter. For example: One Detroiter wrote “Nike Duggan,” and the board gave that vote to Duggan.
WWJ Newsradio 950’s Stephanie Davis reported it was standing-room only at the boards’ emotional first meeting.
Multiple meeting attendees made it clear that they thought it was unfair to give Duggan a vote after someone misspelled his name.
Among those in attendance was Detroiter Les Little, who said the process was nerve-wracking, and he understands citizens’ frustration.
“I think that we’re living, right now, in Detroit where there’s a lot of emotional ties, you know, when it comes to the politics of Detroit,” Little said, “They understand that … this process has been a little bit tainted.”
As it stands now, Napoleon and Duggan will square off in the November general election.
Attorney Melvin Butch Hollowell, with the Duggan campagin, estimates his candidate picked up about 600 additional votes on Tuesday.
“… I think that, you know, this is an experienced board. They got it right, and we’re pretty happy with the outcome,” Hollowell said.
The man elected won’t have much power, however, at least for a while. Detroit is currently under the control of state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who last month filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection on behalf of the city.