City Clerk candidates point to imperfect election day in Detroit

- Primary day in a non-presidential election year may not bring out the largest amount of voters but that doesn't mean there aren't problems for the city clerk's office.

As Janice Winfrey hoped to keep her position as city clerk, she also had to deal with the issue of administering Detroit's election. Which started for many, in the dark.

"This morning when I got up,all the power was out in the highest vote district  in northwest Detroit," Winfrey said.

RESULTS: Michigan Primary Election results - August 8, 2017

Winfrey is facing six candidates for her job and some say the race for clerk is one of the more interesting races in the city. She's seeking her fourth term in office.

"I was a teacher. I was a youth director for New Detroit. I love serving and I'll probably do it until the day I die," Winfrey said.

One of her opponents, former NAACP Detroit executive director Hester Wheeler, says the current clerk made it hard for Detroit voters to vote.

"Department of elections, they came in and said 'poor training, machines broke down, the number of people signing into the pollbook did not match up with the number of votes on the machine, if you don't resign, at the very least you owe the citizens of this city a sincere apology'," Wheeler said.

Then there's a political newcomer,  Garlin Gilcrest, who holds a computer science degree from the University of Michigan and was on Barack Obama's social media team. He says change is needed.  

"I met people today who didn't even know it was election day. There's no excuse for that. The Detroit City Clerk needs to be aggressive by making sure people know when they can vote, how they can vote, where they can vote, and why it's important," Gilchrist said.

Other candidates include Ronald Creswell, Cynthia Johnson, D Etta Wilcoxon and Faustine Onwuneme. 

As of 3 o'clock, only 5.7% of all registered voters had voted in Detroit.

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