Paperwork costs Pontiac mayor her name on August Primary; she calls it voter suppression

It's an error the Oakland County clerk says will keep incumbent Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman off the ballot for August's primary election. 

"It's an egregious error and I hope it's a mistake and not a willful thing," said Jamie Roe.

Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown says Waterman failed to file campaign finance reports for two years- racking up more than $3,600 in late fees. Receipts show she paid the balance last week and filed the reports. 

But Brown says Waterman had already signed an affidavit saying she didn't owe any fines and was caught up on her documents.. 

"You have to dot every 'i' and cross every 't' because you can screw up a lot of things in politics," said Roe. "One thing you can't screw up, is your ability to be on the ballot."

Roe, a political consultant, calls the move a horrendous mistake he believes will hurt Waterman's campaign. 

"When you're the mayor you're charged with enforcing the law, you have to comply with the law," Roe said. 

FOX 2: "Was there's nothing she could do, could she appeal it at all or it's done? 

"Caselaw is pretty strong on it, and even her reports now have been filed," Brown said. "But it was after the filing deadline. Even if there was a way to remedy it ahead of time that opportunity would not work in that situation." 

But Waterman claims she was caught up on her paperwork. 

A statement from her reads in part: "The frivolous challenge filed is part of a disturbing new pattern of voter suppression cropping up in various states.  The challenges will be quickly disposed of and I look forward to continuing the fight for progress, justice and inclusivity in Pontiac city government."

Mayor Deidre Waterman

Mayor Deidre Waterman

"I feel for her maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was just something she overlooked, she didn't pay attention," Roe said. "But you know what? When you're a candidate, you have to pay attention to everything."

Brown says if Waterman gets enough votes as a write-in candidate, her name will appear on the ballot for November's election. 

"We've had it happen in Commerce Township, we've had it happen in Birmingham," she said. "It happens. I don't want to say every community, it's unfortunate but it has happened."