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State officials will not oversee Tuesday's Flint mayoral election

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The Michigan Secretary of State’s office has declined a request by aFlint mayoral candidate to give special oversight of Tuesday’s election.

State Representative Sheldon Neeley made the requestlast month. Neeley is running against incumbent Mayor Karen Weaver in this week’s Flint mayoral election.

Neeley raised allegations of possible election fraud involving the Weaver campaign and absentee ballots.  Something the Weaver campaign denies.

In a letter dated Monday November 4, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she is declining Neeley’s request for more oversight of Tuesday’s election:

My office has the authority to exercise supervisory control over the Flint city clerk, if necessary, to issue instructions or to advise and direct the clerk as to the proper methods of conducting elections. See MCL 168.1 et seq., MCL 168.31(1)(a), (b). However, my office has not received any specific or formal complaint that the Flint city clerk is failing to enforce the requirements of MCL 168.761, MCL168.766, or other laws pertaining to proper conduct of elections as relates to the processing of absent voter ballot applications or absent voter ballots.

Benson is recommending Neeley forward specific complaints to law enforcement.

Mayor Weaver says "There has never been any evidence that has pointed to the City Clerk not being able to handle this election.”

Weaver finished first in the August primary, garnering 42% of the votes cast to Neeley’s nearly 40%.  

Weaver is running for re-election.  She was first elected in 2015. She also survived a recall election in 2017. 

Neeley is a former Flint city council and a term-limited state state lawmaker.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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