91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Questions raised about Detroit city clerk's office after Conyers petitions snafu

Sarah Cwiek
City of Detroit

Long-time Detroit Congressman John Conyers’ trouble with ballot petitions is raising some serious questions about the Detroit City Clerk’s office.

Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett announced last week that Conyers does not appear to have enough valid signatures to make the primary ballot.

That’s because two of his petition circulators registered to vote just last month. In Michigan, state law mandates that circulators be registered to vote at the time they gather signatures.

Garrett says Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey has provided the data showing the two circulators in question registered late last month.

But Winfrey’s office had indicated earlier that the pair registered to vote in December.

Reverend Charles Williams, a Detroit civil rights activist who heads the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network, says that should raise enough questions for the US Department of Justice to investigate the Detroit clerk and Department of Elections.

“In a week’s time, there [were] two designations of whether these two gatherers were registered to vote,” Williams says. “That’s a very big issue.

“If we can’t get the simple issues of registering to vote correct, how can we administer elections?”

Garrett’s office will reportedly release the results of an investigation into the matter, as well as any documents received from local clerks, later this week.

She will decide on Conyers’ ballot status next week.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
Related Content