DEARBORN HEIGHTS (WWJ/AP) – A state official says unusual requests for absentee ballots in a Detroit suburb could lead to criminal charges.

Sally Williams of the Michigan Bureau of Elections says it appears that hundreds of ballot requests have been illegally solicited and submitted in Dearborn Heights. Her remarks were made in a letter Friday to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

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Michigan holds its a primary election on Tuesday and state election officials are pledging to be in Dearborn Heights during that time.

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City Clerk Walt Prusiewicz says 250 absentee ballot applications were dropped off in two separate batches, the majority of them appearing to be from people of Arab descent. He says many had the same handwriting.

Activists have accused the clerk of being biased against Arab-Americans, a claim that Prusiewicz denies.

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