By Charles Sercombe
The recount of Hamtramck’s November General Election will take place next Thursday.
An attempt by Mayor Karen Majewski and City Councilmember Alan Shulgon to have the recount stopped failed on Monday. They protested the request for the recount on the grounds that there was no proof of fraud or errors being made.
The Wayne County Board of Canvassers said it had little choice but to allow the recount to move forward.
Mayoral candidate Abdul Algazali has claimed fraud and error in the election. He has not elaborated on his claims and has not returned repeated calls for comment. He lost to Majewski by 123 votes.
Council candidates Anam Miah called for the recount of the council election, claiming errors had occurred. He told The Review a week ago he had read that the optic machines used by the city to count ballots sometimes makes mistakes. He said he just wanted to make sure the count was accurate.
Miah finished 125 votes behind the third-place winner. However, he finished 25 votes behind fourth-place finisher Alan Shulgon. If a member of the council were to resign before their term is completed, Shulgon would be next in line to fill the empty seat.
Shulgon said he believes Miah is attempting to position himself in fourth place. Majewski said the recounts are a waste of time and money.
The chances of a significant — if any – change in the recount is considered slim to none. The machines have proven themselves to be accurate in the past.
The recount of the ballots is done by hand and allows the candidates to have challengers to watch over the recount and challenge ballots they think are spoiled, unclear or faulty in some other manner.
Both candidates are required to pay $80 each for the recount but the cost to the city is expected to be about $5,000. According to Mayor Majewski, Algazali told the county board of canvassers that he would reimburse the city if he still comes up defeated in the election.
The recount will be held in the Hamtramck High School Community Center on Charest and starts at 8:30 a.m. The recount could take a few hours or as much as several hours depending on the number of challenges made.
Hamtramck has had its share of controversial elections and recounts, especially in the Gary Zych era when Zych won mayoral elections by a mere handful of votes. In all of his recounts, Zych still prevailed.