Barrow Investigates City Elections (MI)
WJBK FOX 2. December 21, 2009
DETROIT, Mich. - Former mayoral candidate Tom Barrow has turned a routine recount of election precincts into a sweeping indictment of the entire conduct of elections in Detroit when he discovered empty ballot boxes and numerous ballot boxes with security seals which been breached, disqualifying tens of thousands of votes in the November 3, 2009 general election from being recountable.
"The problems we had suspected since the Primary pale in comparison to what we have discovered so far with nearly 52% of Absentee ballot boxes we have tested so far being uncountable because of breached security seals," said Barrow, 60, "what is at stake is the very foundation of our representative
system of government and administration of what should be transparent fair and verifiable elections."
One egregious discovery by the professionals on the Wayne County recount team Thursday was that the Detroit Board of Canvassers and Detroit's Election' S Officials had actually certified two ballot boxes that were empty of the several hundred votes they were certified to contain.
In a statement before the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, Barrow cited numerous violations that could jeopardize the certification of the election and installation of what had been the presumed winner, Interim Mayor Dave Bing.
Barrow also requested that the panel exercise its duty under MCL 168.872 and MCL 168.870 to report suspected criminal activity, and notify the Chief Judge of the Wayne County Circuit Court and the Wayne County Prosecutor's office of its findings. Barrow also urged the Board to formally notify the
appropriate federal authorities about the potential voter fraud and ballot box stuffing.
The recount is expected to be completed by next week when the Wayne County Board of Elections, who meets today at 2pm at the Belle Isle Skating Pavilion where the recount is taking place, must rule on the final certification of the disputed election. Their ruling then goes to the Michigan State Board of Canvassers for a final decision.
After two weeks before the county panel recounting precincts with a team of volunteers, certified public accountants and election experts, Barrow submitted over 200 challenges to the Board to declare almost 40,000 absentee and poll votes ineligible to be counted due to the breach of a state-mandated seals on ballot boxes (as detailed in MCL 168.721, MCL 168.735 and MCL 168. 871(2) (a) and MCL 168. 871(2) (c). Barrow also challenged many ballots that appear to be identical in the method it was fulfilled including identical penmanship.
Barrow's team of lawyers, accountants and volunteers also challenged dozens of precinct's whose election results "computer tapes", normally summarizing election results at the closing of the polls, had in fact actually been run hours before the closing of the polls indicating that the results were being
electronically manipulated and the numbers being shown not the final results. The Board is expected to rule on those and nearly a hundred other questionable issues today. If the board upholds Barrow's challenge, it could disqualify another 14,200 votes bringing the total to nearly 57,000 votes.
Barrow filed for a recount on November 18, 2009 seeking to include absentees and certain voter precincts citing potential fraud, computer manipulation and electronic ballot stuffing by person or persons unknown.
"Our exhaustive review of just half of the absentee ballots thus far has revealed that the Detroit Board of Elections had not secured the ballot boxes, deliberately misled Wayne County elections officials and the people of Detroit about security seals, " declared Barrow, an accountant. "Due to our discovery that dozens of second seals on absentee ballot boxes had been breached, as evidenced by the fact that several seals do not match the records makes it is impossible to verify the ballots cast by the voters and
the efficacy and security of every ballot in those boxes."
Among the numerous additional issues of concern are the following:
- The disappearance of election data from 1989; that information is used to ascertain how the mayoral general election results of 1989 (Young versus Barrow) had the near exact percentage for the winning candidate (56.23%) as Bing's 2009 tally of 56.22% a one thousandth of 1 percent difference (when the population differential and voter differential of 30% less voters), inferring potential computer manipulation. Barrow had retained his own data to discover the pattern;
- Approximately 47 percent of the absentee voter ballot boxes could not be opened and examined due to the discovery that state-required seals did not match the poll books or were breached;
- Thousands of unused pre-stamped absentee ballots are missing from numerous cases and numerous of those in polling precincts are out of sequence from that received from the printer;
- The computer tape generated by the M-100 machine on election night that is supposed to be activated only after polls close at 8 p.m., were actually run during mid-day, run before the polls opened and run after the polls closed into the wee hours of the next day, but being misrepresented by the City as the final results from election day.