By Charles Sercombe
If the number of absentee ballots issued is any indication, this election could see a huge turnout.
In the last mayoral election year – 2013 – a total of 788 people voted by AV ballot. The total voter turnout that year was over 2,500.
So far this year, according to City Clerk August Gitschlag, 1,462 AV ballots have been issued and about half have been returned.
He expects just about all of the ballots will be returned by next week.
Adding the number of people voting at the polls next Tuesday (Nov. 7), Hamtramck could far exceed the turnout from four years ago.
But the issue of AV ballots raises red flags and underscores an ongoing concern: The Michigan State Police are investigating whether there are people — and possibly some candidates — who are illegally handling the ballots. The investigation includes people marking up absentee ballots for voters in favor of their candidates.
According to sources, there will likely be arrests made and charges filed in the coming weeks.
Council candidate Nayeem Choudhury has already come forward at a recent city council meeting to say that he and his father were detained by state police investigators.
He threatened to take the matter to federal court.
There are six candidates vying for one of three seats on city council. That field includes incumbents Andrea Karpinski and Ian Perrotta. Councilmember Mohammed Hassan decided not to seek re-election and instead is challenging Mayor Karen Majewski.
We reached out to Hassan several times via telephone and each time heard only a recorded message that said his message box was full.
Mayor Majewski is seeking her fourth term. In an email, Majewski said she is feeling confident about her re-election.
“My team and I have been working hard on this election. I believe it’s important to connect personally with community members across the spectrum, whether or not it’s an election year,” Majewski said.
“But particularly for this election, my team and I are hard at it knocking doors and talking to voters. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. I appreciate all those residents who are willing to open their doors and in many cases their homes to me.
“It’s very helpful for me as mayor to walk every street, meet people on their sidewalks and on their porches, to see and hear and feel the pulse of Hamtramck close up and personal — it’s extremely hard work, but it’s also enriching , enlightening, and inspiring.”
The election on Nov. 7 features only the mayoral and city council races. There are no other issues on the ballot. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Published November 3, 2017