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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Op/Ed: A Mixer malfunction tosses raw cookie batter over Michigan Elections process: Is Federal Oversight the required fix?

Photo Credit - Pastry
An IU News & Talk Op/Ed

Something is off in the cookie mix of the total number of voters in Tuesday, August 6, 2013 Detroit Primary Election. What's off exactly? The number of voters registered to cast ballots in any given election.

If the numbers provided by Detroit's Department of Elections City Clerk Janice Winfrey (D) are correct, 108% of Detroit eligible voters were registered to vote in Tuesday's Primary Election. Ironically, the total turnout of voters casting ballots was estimated at 17% or 96.000 voters.

According to Fox 2 News there are only 514,000 adults living in Detroit in 2012 based on U.S. Census figures. Yet, the unofficial tally of eligible voters in the City provided by Detroit's Department of Elections is 538,000 registered voters in total.

Just 17% of voters in Detroit participated in August 6, 2013 primary but, 108% in total were eligible to participate by voting for Tuesday's primary.

Sounds confusing? No doubt! So, let's rely on Detroit's Own Putizer-Prize winning journalist - Fox 2 News Charlie LeDuff to explain.

Fox 2 News Headlines

Incredibly amazing isn't it. And this would be a downright embarrassing story if it was not for the words Michigan + Primary Voting + Irregularities = Downright Embarrassing Outcomes seem to be a strange recipe of Great Lakes Chocolate Chip Cookies lately.

Earlier in the day, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilna found in a one-person year long grand jury process, charges were "not warranted" for Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R) and former Representative Roy Schmidt collusion to fix an election in Grand Rapids for a State House Seat during a primary race.

In this case, now closed forever based on Judge Aquinia's ruling, Speaker Bolger worked with Former State Rep. Roy Schmidt conspiring to pay then 21-year-old friend of Schmidt's son Matt Mojak upwards of $1200 to run as a fake Democrat in Schmidt's former district. Schmidt switched political party affiliation from Democrat to Republican days before the May 15, 2012 partisan primary candidate filing deadline.

Detroit's latest case skewing numbers of eligible registered voters available to participate in Tuesday's Primary Election by 105% would make statistics student's scratch heads in complete disbelief. Yet, it appears this is the way cookies crumble in Michigan, currently.

Toss in cookie batter bowl the added ingredient of Detroit's Director of Elections and resident statistician Daniel Baxter sudden registration on Thursday, August 8, 2013. Less than 48 hours after Tuesday's primary. Maybe a mixer malfunction has resulted in raw cookies being tossed frankly everywhere, when it comes to Michigan's elections.

What will be the outcome of Detroit's Historically high eligible registered voters participating in Tuesday's Primary election but, historically low voter turnout? We don't know.

Either way, it would appear a level of oversight is necessary by the Department of Justice to ensure a fair election process in Michigan exist for the future. 

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