The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 3A
focus on voter
University Law students and members
of the Michigan Election Law Project
Voting Rights Initiative will present a
lecture and report on voter discrimina-
tion since 1982 today.
Panel members will include officers
from National Commission on the Vot-
ing Rights Act and the Mexican Ameri-
can Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The presentation will take place from
4 to 6 p.m. at 250 Hutchins Hall in the
law quad. Admission is free and there
will be a reception afterward.
Guest speaker to
change since 9/1
Michael Berube, a literature profes-
sor at Penn State University, will present
a lecture today titled, "The Left at War:
Cultural Studies and Cultural Crisis
Since 9/11." The lecture is being spon-
sored by Ethnic Literatures Seminar in
the Program in Comparative Literature.
The lecture will take place from 4 to
6 p.m. at the Vandenberg Room of the
Michigan League. Admission is free.
sorority to present
The Zeta Sigma Chi multicultural
sorority will present its fifth-annual One
Love show today. This year it will be
called "Radiant Fusion." The show will
feature performances from local dancers
and other cultural groups. The perfor-
mance will take place from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
at the Michigan League Ballroom. Tick-
ets are $8 at the door or $6 in advance.
They can be purchased at the Michigan
Union Ticket Office.
Haven Hall staffer
A staff member in Haven Hall report-
ed receiving harassing phone calls yes-
terday around 3:10 p.m, according to the
Department of Public Safety. The calls
appear to be from the same person and
started earlier this week. Many times
the caller will hang up the phone when
the staff member picks it up.
stolen in Union
A female student reported her purse
was stolen from the Michigan Union
yesterday around 7 p.m., according to
DPS. She said she set the purse on the
floor next to her and never left the area.
There are no suspects at this time.
A staff member's black Dodge ranger
was keyed while in a parking lot in Wash-
ington Heights yesterday. DPS estimated
the damage at around $2,000 because
the car will need a new paint job.
In Daily History
Nov. 10, 1976 - The chairman
of the Michigan Student Assembly
Insurance Committee announced
last night that MSA's personal prop-
erty insurance program had been
cancelled by its underwriter, Wood-
land Mutual Insurance, because of
the firm's bankruptcy.
"Because of actions by the Michi-
gan State Department of Insurance, we
are at this moment technically without
property insurance," said committee
chairman Elliot Chikofsky,
But Dan Newman, GM Underwrit-
FBI investiga nhdling of Detroit ballots
DETROIT (AP) - The Justice Department
is investigating allegations that votes were cast
in the names of dead people and that the city
clerk improperly helped incapacitated people
to vote by absentee ballot.
At the request of the FBI, Chief Wayne County
Circuit Court Judge Mary Beth Kelly late Tues-
day ordered the secretary of state to preserve all
absentee ballots, the applications to get them and
the envelopes in which they were sent.
The order, which came shortly before the
polls closed Tuesday, said the ballots must be
held by the state after being counted.
"Now we can be satisfied that the ballots will
be there and that the documents will be there,"
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Helland, who
sought the order, said after the hearing.
The judge also ordered preservation of
records of City Clerk Jackie Currie's Proj-
ect Vote program, in which ambassadors go
into the community and help senior citizens
and disabled people prepare absentee ballots.
Records to be preserved include Project Vote
telephone logs and weekly work-force reports
of the project's volunteers.
Steven Reifman, attorney for Currie, called the
order an unnecessary intrusion into the clerk's
power and said the FBI investigation is based on
allegations from a disgruntled candidate who has
"I think it is much ado about nothing," Reif-
Meanwhile, Currie lost her re-election Tues-
day to challenger Janice Winfrey. With 99 per-
cent of the precincts reporting, Winfrey had 53
percent to 47 percent for Currie.
The state and Wayne County reviewed
about 45,000 absentee ballot applications and
determined that 1,500 to 2,000 apparently
were handled by ambassadors, the state and
Last week, Kelly ruled that Currie had been
breaking state law in how she handles absen-
tee ballots. The judge ordered the secretary of
state and the Wayne County clerk to oversee
the absentee ballots.
On Tuesday, a three-judge Michigan Court
of Appeals panel denied Reifman's emergency
request to return oversight of absentee ballots
back to Currie.
Currie's appeal accused Kelly of violating
due process by "running the proceedings in an
'ambush' mode, leading to the 'kangaroo court'
style proceedings and the 'witch hunt' that has
The motion, filed on behalf of Currie and
the City of Detroit Election Commission, said
Kelly lacked jurisdiction in the matter. It also
said Kelly improperly reinstated portions of an
order deemed "null and void" by the appeals
court and ignored violations of Federal Voting
Rights statutes and the 14th and 15th Amend-
ments to the U.S. Constitution.
On Friday, Kelly held an emergency hearing
and said there was credible testimony that Cur-
rie's workers violated a previous court order to
stop the ambassador program.
Earlier, Kelly found Currie guilty of crimi-
nal contempt of court for defying her order and
mailing 132,000 absentee ballot applications to
people who didn't request them.
Kelly made her rulings in a lawsuit filed by
Maureen Taylor, a City Council candidate who
lost in the August primary but sued alleging
that fraud kept her from winning or getting a
Stephen Wasinger, attorney for Taylor, said
he could not believe that Currie's office opposed
preservation of the records.
"I can't understand why a public official would
not want documents maintained," he said.
In late October, The Detroit News reported
that Currie's handling of absentee ballots was
questionable. The newspaper found that people
cast ballots even though they listed addresses
at abandoned nursing homes or in one case, a
vacant lot. The paper also said a master voter
list included people who died or left Detroit.
DETROIT (AP) - Embroiled in a
federal probe of her handling of absen-
tee ballots, City Clerk Jackie L. Currie
has been unseated after serving in the
post since 1994.
Janice Winfrey defeated Currie in
Tuesday's election. With 99 percent
of the precincts reporting, Winfrey
had 53 percent of votes cast, to Cur-
rie's 47 percent.
Reached at home by telephone, Cur-
rie had little to say Wednesday about the
election loss or a federal investigation
into her handling of absentee ballots.
"I don't even want to discuss it," said
the 74-year-old Currie, who has been the
city clerk for three terms. She previously
served as a Wayne County commission-
er for 20 years.
Asked about her plans, she said: "I
have to rest."
The victory for Winfrey, 47, comes
as the Justice Department investi-
gates allegations that some votes in the
Detroit election were cast in the names
of dead people and that Currie improp-
erly helped incapacitated people vote by
A message seeking comment from
Winfrey was left Wednesday at a tele-
phone listing for her husband's work-
place. There was no home listing for
Winfrey and no answer at a telephone
listing for her campaign.
Paul Masseron, a political consultant
and former United Auto Workers offi-
cial, said Currie's defeat suggests that
Detroit voters were sophisticated in how
they made their Election Day decisions.
"It does show that people are paying
real close attention," Masseron said.
Last month, The Detroit News report-
ed that Currie's handling of absentee
ballots was questionable. The newspa-
per found that people cast ballots even
though they listed addresses at aban-
doned nursing homes or in one case, a
vacant lot. The paper also said a master
voter list included people who died or
It also said that for several years, since
protesters went to her home, Currie has
been assigned a full-time driver from the
Detroit Police Department.
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