Candidate Pledges to Protect Absentee Voter Process With Expedited Appeal
Skipping the Michigan Court of Appeals to expedite and conclude his lower court legal victory against mayoral rival Mike Duggan, candidate Tom Barrow announced today that the Michigan Supreme Court has accepted his request to hear the appeal of the Duggan ballot matter on Friday, June 14, 2013.
Duggan, who had applied for a hearing before the Michigan Court of Appeals was unexpectedly upended when Barrow decided to skip that panel and go directly to the Michigan Supreme Court for a final, and decisive, verdict in the case. It is expected that the Michigan Supreme Court will issue a verdict later today.
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Pro Temp Lita M. Popke ruled on Tuesday, June 11, that Mike Duggan failed to qualify for the August ballot due to his lack of a year as a registered Detroit voter. Duggan had moved from Livonia to Detroit to run for Mayor in late April of 2012 while launching his official candidacy by filing petition signatures on April 2nd of 2013.
Barrow, 64, respectfully requested of the state's highest Court that they expedite the appeal by Mike Duggan who is challenging the verdict against him issued on Tuesday taking him off of the Primary Election ballot on August 6, 2013. Duggan failed to be a registered Detroit voter for one year at the time of his submission of nomination documents. Duggan submitted his materials two-weeks before April 16, 2013 when he would have been a qualified elector and therefore eligible to be placed on the August primary ballot.
"We had hoped that whoever won in the Circuit Court would just accept the verdict and move on," said Barrow, "but the Duggan campaign chose to appeal, which is his right, but the legal dispute must end quickly to ensure Detroiters that their primary election will occur without any further delays."
Paramount among Barrow's concerns was the possibility that should a Court of Appeals affirm the lower court's decision in Barrow's favor, that another appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court would be initiated, further delaying the printing of the ballots for the city's absentee voters.
"We already had severe problems in 2009 when the recount concluded with the entire class of absentee ballots being unable to be certified, for the first time in the history of Detroit and the nation," stated Barrow, "just under 60,000 votes were not re-countable because cases had been re-entered and election night seals breached, destroying confidence in our election system, so it is important to me that the absentee voters be protected and that there be no delays caused by appeal after appeal after appeal."