Kalea Hall Detroit Free Press
Published 10:44 p.m. UTC Aug 21, 2018
An activist group formally requested Tuesday a recount in Macomb County of the vote in the razor-thin win of the suburban bus system ballot question in the August primary.
Simon Haddad of Clinton Township is the named petitioner for the recount in the request filed with the Macomb County Clerk’s Office. He is vice chairman of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, whose chairman Leon Drolet previously said a recount request of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) probably would be made in Macomb County.
The SMART ballot question passed by a mere 39 votes in Macomb County after the election was certified on Friday. The vote initially passed by 23 votes in unofficial totals after the Aug. 7 primary.
More: It’s official: SMART millage passes in Macomb Co. by a whole 39 votes
The SMART vote total in Macomb County was 77,500 in favor and 77,461 against for what is basically a 1-mill renewal for four years.
If the measure failed in Macomb County, all of which currently opts into the regional bus system, it would have meant a wind-down of service in the county. The measure passed handily in the communities in Wayne and Oakland counties that opt into the service.
Drolet said in a release Tuesday that a fee of $9,950 was paid when the recount request was filed. The request asks for 398 precincts in the county — almost all of which are absentee ballot boards — to be recounted.
More: SMART bus system general manager hit with campaign finance complaint
“Thirty-nine votes out of 155,000 is statistically a tied election,” Drolet said in a news release. “Over 110 million taxpayer dollars that will be taken from citizens and given to SMART are at stake, as is the principle of election integrity. Voters have a right to expect extreme scrutiny when an election is this close.”
Haddad added “while we would like to recount every precinct in the county, we are a volunteer taxpayer group with limited resources. Unlike SMART, which uses taxpayer dollars to pay for everything, we have to be selective as to how we use our limited resources. Because absentee ballots have a higher possibility of human error when being processed than Election Day ballots, we are prioritizing recounting those ballots.”
The Macomb County Clerk’s Office will set the time and place for the recount. Drolet said in his release the recount will likely take place in the next three weeks.
Contact Christina Hall: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
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