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Update: Benny Napoleon Suddenly Looks Like the Winner But Vote Not Certified

August 20, 2013, 3:15 PM

Update: Tuesday, 9:34 p.m. -- The State Board of Canvassers will now have up to 10 days to certify the out-of-whack Detroit mayoral election results after the Wayne County Board of Canvassers decided on Tuesday not to certify the shocking new results, the Detroit News reported.

The Wayne County Clerk’s Office released the new results early Tuesday, with Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon as the top vote getter.

By Jeff Wattrick

So remember how all those unofficial returns showed Mike Duggan's write-in campaign trouncing Benny Napoleon with 44,395 votes to Napoleon's 28,352? Apparently there was a rounding error or something because the Wayne County election officials have come up with slightly revised numbers. And by slightly revised we mean completely different from what had been previously announced.

Detroit News: Napoleon won the primary with 28,391 votes while Duggan got 23,970 votes, the board announced as it certified the results of the primary electionin which almost 70,000 votes for mayor were cast. Duggan and Napoleon still will face off in the November general election as expected.

There was no immediate explanation for the huge change in the mayoral primary results. But a representative for the four-member board said Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey shouldn’t have released the unofficial primary results that showed Duggan winning the primary.

If you're keeping score at home, that means the official returns found another 39 votes for Napoleon and pitched more than 20,000 ballots that had previously been counted in Duggan's column.

While that is a shocking reversal of the election night pronouncements that came from the city's elections department, it doesn't fundamentally change the race. Duggan and Napoleon remain the two finalists on the November ballot.

If those 20,000 ballots scrubbed from Duggan's total were cast by voters intended to be votes for Duggan, then those voters have another chance to get it right in November--this time with Duggan's name on the ballot. However, if we assume those ballots were never meant for Duggan, then this race is a lot closer (and more favorable to Napoleon) than previously thought.

Read more:  Detroit News

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