Elections bureau rejects challenges to El-Sayed
By DAVID EGGERT
LANSING — Michigan’s elections bureau on Wednesday rejected challenges to the candidacy of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed, declaring that he has been a continuously registered voter in the state for 15 years.
The challenges were brought by another Democrat running for governor — Shri Thanedar — and three other residents. They raised questions because El-Sayed studied, worked and voted in New York before moving back to Michigan in 2015 to run Detroit’s health department.
Provisions in the state constitution and election law say a gubernatorial candidate must have been a registered and “qualified” voter in Michigan for four years before the election.
In letters to the challengers, Bureau of Elections Director Sally Williams wrote that they cited no evidence to support allegations that he violated the four-year voter registration requirement. They alleged El-Sayed has not resided in Michigan for 22 years.
She acknowledged that El-Sayed obtained a New York driver’s license. But she added that his Michigan voter registration could not have been canceled unless the state received specific written confirmation that he changed his residence for voting purposes or until two straight federal elections passed without him voting in Michigan — neither of which occurred.
“As we expected, the Secretary of State has rejected this baseless political attack in an unprecedented confirmation of Abdul’s eligibility to serve as governor in his state,” El-Sayed spokesman Adam Joseph said in a statement.