Rep. Dingell Calls for ‘Thorough Investigation’ Into Wayne County Election Troubles

Dingell and others join Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to help break down Tuesday’s primaries.

Jake Neher/WDET

 Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) says there needs to be a “thorough investigation” into election problems in Wayne County during the August 7 primaries.

Throughout Tuesday evening and well into Wednesday, numbers coming out of Wayne County fluctuated wildly.

Reporters spent hours scrambling to figure out what was happening with the returns in that county, at times referring to the situation as “pandemonium.”

There were reports of inaccurate return numbers due to a “glitch” in the system.

One of the major upsets that confounded political watchers was state Senate district 5 Democratic primary. Incumbent David Knezek of Dearborn lost by a couple thousand votes to a virtual unknown challenger named Betty Jean Alexander of Detroit. Alexander didn’t actively campaign for the state Senate seat, answered no candidate questionnaires, and has never held public office. Alexander also has no website, email, or phone number listed for her campaign.  

Crain’s Detroit Business reporter Chad Livengood says Alexander was recruited by longtime political operative LaMar Lemmons.

Rep. Dingell tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson that these kinds of problems raise tough questions that demand answers.

“I want accountability on what happened in Wayne County. It’s unacceptable. We need to understand,” she says. “We need to do a thorough investigation of the facts, figure out where the numbers were, what happened.”

Dingell also says these issues are especially startling at a time when there are serious questions about election meddling from Russia and other foreign entities.

“Every one of us needs to understand that when the presidents leaders — the cabinet members — they know (the Russians) are trying to cause trouble, we must be aware, we must be concerned, we must pay attention. And they need to ask their legislators why they didn’t vote for more money to keep our electoral process safe.”

Henderson also speaks with Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer, a state Capitol news service based in Lansing, who was following the election problems in Wayne County through the evening and into the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

“This was a debacle,” says Gorchow. “We still don’t know the results of a whole pile of races.”

To hear more from Dingell, Gorchow and Congressman Dan Kildee about primary results, click on the audio player above.



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