You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 5 p.m.

Ypsilanti charter revision rejection stands after counting of misplaced absentee ballots

By Tom Perkins

A vote to reject a charter revision in Ypsilanti has been upheld after overlooked absentee ballots were found and counted Friday.

Washtenaw County Elections Director Ed Golembiewski, said Ypsilanti City Clerk Frances McMullan found 86 absentee ballots in a desk drawer that had not been counted.


Frances McMullan

That temporarily left the result of the charter revision vote in question because it was defeated by 14 votes with 2,983 people voting no and 2,969 voting yes.

With the new ballots counted, the unofficial results from the Washtenaw County Clerk’s Office are 3,016 no votes to 2,994 yes. The found ballots also changed vote totals in other races that weren't as close.

“The new results show the charter question still failed,” Golembiewski said.

McMullan couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

Golembiewski said McMullan and four election inspectors counted the new ballots under the supervision of the Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers.

The proposed charter revision ballot question read:

• Shall the City of Ypsilanti Home Rule Charter, proposed by the Ypsilanti Charter Revision Commission be adopted?"

The most controversial proposed change in the revision was a switch from partisan to non-partisan elections.

Other proposed changes include:

  • Addition of a provision prohibiting council from increasing its compensation by more than the rate of inflation.
  • Elimination of a provision placing a charter revision question in front of voters every 16 years.
  • Requiring the city clerk to report to the city manager instead of City Council.

The charter commission that was elected to develop the new charter could call for a recount. If the charter revision still fails, the commission could meet to make changes to the proposed charter and put it back before voters.



Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.

If you've never ran a presidential election by yourself please shut-up!!! Hats off to her!


Sun, Nov 11, 2012 : 11:31 p.m.

I'm a veteran election worker and the votes are always unofficial until canvassed to allow things to be straightened out before going to the state. There are always mistakes by election workers, etc but the public doesn't know by how much and they don't see it or hear about it, clerks are just asked to straighten it out. This is not the first time, it just depends on who it is if a big deal is made of it or not. This isn't about the charter revision question because the outcome didn't change … so to many of us this story is useless and serves no purpose other than bashing the clerk. I say non-partisan elections is the way to go. It's the only way to get rid of that useless council. God bless Ms. McMullan for even working with such a useless group of people. Bring it back, bring it back so we can vote yes and see some real changes in the city.


Sun, Nov 11, 2012 : 3:58 a.m.

86 ballots left in an office drawer is a big deal. In addition, from these 86 ballots the no vote changed by 33, and the yes vote changed by 25 - that is a total vote tally of 58. Did the other 28 ballots not mark anything on this proposal? Or were the ballots invalid for some reason; perhaps not marked correctly because the person didn't receive instructions with the absentee ballot. Must be very worrison for all who voted by absentee ballot that there is no procedure for ensuring proper handling of ballots, and that those votes are not counted on election night just like all other votes.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 7:23 p.m.

In my opinion this isn't such a big deal since all election results are unofficial until certified by the canvassers. The official results are usually slightly different because there are inspectors or clerk errors all the time. I know because I've woked elections before. My feeling is this article was meant to make Mrs. McMullan look bad and what a shame because she is one of the hardest working clerks with some of the highest integrity in the County. And what about the wonderful job she did as the Interim City Manager as well as her duties as City Clerk? Where's the appreciation for that? I say kudos to her for an outstanding job of running the Clerks Office all alone. Keep up the good work!


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

Big SNAFU on McMullan's part.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 5:13 a.m.

The Ypsi weenies can grouse about a botched-up election. But that's not what it is about. Bottom Line: It is about the ability (or non-ability) of Elected Officials to cause the City of Ypsilanti to "Work." Thus far the Elected Officials are a Very Sorry Bunch of Pathetic Incompetents!!!


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 5:07 a.m.

Having Partisan (i.e. political party elections) in a Ypsi City is So Silly!!! Only Ypsi and Ann Arbor have them. The rest of the municipalities in the State of Michigan Do Not have "partisan" elections. Ypsi has a Dis-Connect (as does Sister City Ann Arbor).


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

Other municipalities have had to do recounts in the past and some will no doubt join her and have to do one or several for this election too. It seems that this clerk has a bulls eye on her back. Let's see how many other municipalities are featured for needing to recount for any reason. What's important is that she has integrity and made sure every vote was counted.

not a billy

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 3:17 a.m.

This just follows the problem of the absentee ballots that were an issue before the election. The clerk's office is a joke.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

More like arrested on voter fraud.

T Davis

Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.

The real story should be "Ypsilanti City Clerk Frances McMullan found 86 absentee ballots in a desk drawer ". Someone should be fired or recalled over this.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

The yes votes decreased with the recount? 2,969 down to 2,094