Allies, Issues and Action Meeting with Guest Speaker: Cathy Garrett

          Tuesday, October 1st Allies, Issues, and Action meeting was enlightening and extremely informative. Our Guest Speaker was Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett. Our topic of discussion was the 2013 Mayoral election.
          The County Clerk opened the discussion with a detailed explanation of the origin and purpose of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.  Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett also spoke in detail about the importance of poll workers using hash marks as they count votes on each ballot. She asked the question; “How are you able to keep an accurate count with no discrepancies if you don’t use a system that identifies every vote. Furthermore how do you check to verify that each vote has been counted if your just writing down the total number without identifying each vote within that total with a written indication that each vote has been counted?”
          Speaking with conviction the Clerk also highlighted many other possible irregularities within the 2013 mayoral primary election. All of which were indicated in her 23 page report distributed at the Detroit NAACP Allies, Issues and Action Meeting on October 1st. The Packet for information purposes, contained:
– Legislation on the Appointment of County Board of Canvassers
(*Note section 168.823)
– Election Inspector Training Coordinator Accreditation Workshop Manual
      (*Note: pg. 72 for example on how votes are tallied on election night)
– State Manual for Board of County Canvassers
(*Note Pg. 26 for instructions on examining write-in tallies)
 – Job Aid issued by the City of Detroit for Election Inspectors to Tally Write-in Votes
 – Letter from the Director of the Detroit Department of Elections to poll Workers
 – Example from State of Michigan Precinct by Precinct Mayoral Re-tabulation (Recount)        Report
 – Summery of request concerning Turnaround Detroit PAC
          Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett also highlighted some of the same irregularities mentioned by former mayoral candidate Tom Barrow.  “On write-in Ballots there were more than 90 different spellings and/or ways the write-in candidate’s name appeared in the write-in section on the ballot. Some write-in names were even typed in and not written at all!” The Clerk went on to say, “One box that supposedly had ballots inside; when opened, it was empty. Seals were broken before ballots were counted.”  Gracefully speaking, the county clerk explained how important it is to get this one right!  “Regardless of who you support, as a Clerk it is our duty to uphold Democracy and insure the integrity of elections.

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