Seeks to End Duggan Legal Challenges to Allow Timely Printing of Ballots
Detroit, MI – Mayoral candidate Tom Barrow today took control of his case against Mike Duggan’s residency appeal when he requested that the Michigan State Supreme Court take superintending control directly, thus bypassing the Court of Appeals.
It is anticipated that the Michigan Supreme Court will decide the case as early as Friday, June 14, 2013. Barrow filed his required legal response to the Appeals Court this morning along with a formal request seeking such Supreme Court superintending jurisdiction.
“Detroiters need a quick and definitive resolution to this historic case, so that we can continue the campaign process unobstructed by legal maneuvers which delay and confuse voters with legalese and interminable appeals to shop for a favorable verdict,” Barrow said.
Citing the printing deadline to produce absentee ballots and the potential for appellate delay, Barrow decided to request the appeal be argued before the state’s highest court to avoid yet another round of appeals by Duggan should Barrow, as expected, prevail and keep Duggan off of the August primary election ballot.
“It is imperative that this election occur without a hitch, unlike 2009,” stated Barrow, an accountant, referring to the inability to recount 59,961 ballots where 9,501 would have changed the election’s outcome. The Wayne County Board of Canvassers also decertified all of the city’s 41,215 absentee ballots from the recount, “the integrity of the voting process has already been compromised by the poor judgment and slack operations of City Clerk Winfrey, and any delay in printing of the ballots may further erode confidence by the public, so it was important to expedite the decision.”
Barrow successfully bounced Duggan on June 12 from the mayoral ballot when Judge Lita M. Popke declared in a 22-page decision that Duggan did not fulfill the requirement to be a registered voter for one year at the time of filing his nomination petitions, Duggan submitted his signatures two weeks before the required year.
Duggan’s argument remains the same, that the judge erred in her decision, and that the court should recognize the last day of filing, May 14, 2013, rather than the day of submission, April 2, 2013, as the operative date to measure his voter registration term. Duggan registered to vote in Detroit after moving from Livonia, his longtime home, on April 16, 2012, but submitted his nominating petitions two weeks too early, on April 2, 2013.
Judge Popke emphatically rejected that argument reasoning that there exists no statute or case law to support Duggan’s contention that the filing deadline was what was meant by the Detroit Charter Commission and city’s voters by the term “by the time of filing”. The revised Detroit City Charter was vetted at every level of state and local government including the Charter Commission, Corporation Counsel, City Council, and Mayor, state Attorney General, the legislature and the Governor.
“In trying to reverse the decision and reinterpret the provision, the City’s Corporation Counsel is rejecting their own work, their own wording, and their approvals in order to buttress Winfrey’s error in judgment in allowing Duggan to submit his petitions without first vetting his voter registration requirements,” said Barrow. “Had Winfrey done her job with professionalism all of these legal proceedings would never have occurred so Mr. Duggan needs to lay the blame for his dilemma squarely on his friend Janice Winfrey”.