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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

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Corruption Chronicles

Detroit Absentee Ballots

Last week, a judge removed Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie from her duty of overseeing the city’s mayoral election (Detroit Free Press article). Currie was not controlling election workers who were violating election laws by taking advantage of elderly citizens voting by absentee ballots.

An investigation by Detroit News raises serious questions about the handling of absentee ballots under Currie. Some of the findings by reporters include:

[B]allots cast by people registered to vote at abandoned and long-demolished buildings; a master voter list with 380,000 incorrect names and addresses — including people who have died or moved out of the city; and a practice of hand-delivering ballots from senior citizens and disabled voters that were filled out in private meetings with Currie’s paid election workers.

But Currie’s problem with honest elections is nothing new. It goes back decades. According to Detroit News, in 1964 Currie and her late husband were charged with conspiring to solicit 21 people to sign applications for absentee ballots and later advising them on how to mark their ballots. Currie’s husband pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge while Currie got off scot-free.

Recently, Currie defied a court order not to send out 150,000 unsolicited absentee ballots to Detroit residents. When asked by the judge to explain her actions, Currie invoked the Fifth Amendment. Currie later said she did not remember being told not to send out the ballots.


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