Thousands of Detroiters cast their ballots Tuesday in Michigan’s primary election.
A technological problem caused the reporting of results in Wayne County to be delayed until the early morning hours. The Wayne County Clerk issued a statement saying AT&T’s decision to no longer support 3G modems significantly delayed the reporting process. Only about 32% of Wayne County precincts had reported by 3 a.m.
In Wayne County, incumbent Sheriff Raphael Washington holds a slight lead in the race to hold on to his position. He faces challengers Joan Merriewether and Walter Epps in the Democratic primary. Fewer than 10,000 votes separated Washington and Merrieweither in the early morning hours. Washington was appointed last year to serve in place of Sheriff Benny Napoleon. Napoleon died in December 2020 from COVID-19.
The battle for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District continued into the early morning hours, as well. In a field of nine Democratic candidates, three emerged as leaders in the vote count early this morning. Shri Thanedar, Portia Roberson and Adam Hollier held the top three spots with about 18% of precincts reporting. The 13th Congressional District stretches from the Grosse Pointes through the east side of Detroit to Downriver suburbs such as Wyandotte and Taylor.
In the 12th District covering parts of Detroit’s west side, several western Wayne County suburbs and Southfield, Rep. Rashida Tlaib has defeated Democratic challengers Janice Winfrey, Shanelle Jackson and Kelly Garrett.
Detroit poll workers watched closely for irregularities during Tuesday’s primary election. They showed additional vigilance in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election — when Trump supporters raised questions about the accuracy of election results and demonstrated at Detroit’s convention center where ballots were being counted. Voters at one polling place yesterday were told to put away their cell phones while at the site.
BridgeDetroit reports one Republican poll challenger was escorted out of the room in Detroit’s Huntington Place where votes are being counted – after being warned several times to stop aggressive behavior towards elections workers.
Statewide, Michigan voters chose Tudor Dixon as the Republican they’d like to run for governor. She defeated four others in the race to challenge Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer in November. Businessman Kevin Rinke finished second in the GOP primary. Five other Republican candidates failed to make the primary ballot after their petition signatures were ruled invalid, including former Detroit Police Chief James Craig.