Last week we reported that the Michigan State Police are conducting an investigation into possible election fraud here in Hamtramck.
One city council candidate, Nayeem Choudhury, voluntarily came forth at a council meeting and said the investigation involved him and his father.
The investigation apparently involves the illegal handling of absentee ballots – an issue that is no stranger to Hamtramck.
It didn’t take long for critics to come forward and claim the investigation is unfairly targeting the Bengali-American community here, which is likely the majority ethnic community residing in Hamtramck.
There were other accusations that the investigation was politically motivated by Republicans to embarrass a Democratic-majority city, that “well connected” insiders orchestrated this and that the investigations is basically fueled only by rumors.
To that we say hogwash.
The sanctity of the election process is not a light matter.
There is also ample evidence that this has happened before in Hamtramck – namely the conviction of four men in 2014 for illegally handling absentee ballots.
State police investigators are not going to launch what appears to be a lengthy and involved investigation based merely on rumors.
As for the investigation supposedly being a Republican attempt to discredit Democrats, why didn’t the 2014 convictions spark more attention? As it was, there was scant media coverage.
If there is any hint of election fraud, that warrants a serious investigation. There has been a real attempt to undermine the integrity of the city’s election in the past, and that demands close scrutiny on all future elections.
As for any ethnic community being singled out we have these words of wisdom: Don’t do anything illegal and you won’t have any worries.
Published November 3, 2017