Flint, Michigan City Clerk Resigns When Challenged For Hiring Democrat Poll Watchers 15 To 1 Over Republicans

The Flint, Michigan City Clerk, who has served for 25 years, abruptly resigned earlier this month after being challenged for unfairly hiring Democratic election inspectors over Republicans at a rate of more than 15 to 1 for this year’s election cycle.

Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME) and the Thomas More Society sent a letter to City Clerk Inez Brown and the city government on September 6 advising they would take legal action unless the city balanced out the number of poll watchers between Democrats and Republicans before Election Day in November.

During the primary election conducted in the city on August 2, Flint hired 422 Democrat election inspectors compared to only 27 Republicans. That lopsided ratio was in violation of Michigan election law that requires equal party representation among poll watchers.

Just two days later, Brown announced her resignation effective September 30. She gave no reason for her sudden decision that caught city officials off guard.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley told reporters that his office was “taken by surprise” and said he had asked Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for assistance in running the November general election now that Brown will be out of office more than a month before Election Day.

Meanwhile, Benson’s involvement is raising questions about the ethics of her office’s participation. Benson is running for reelection in November.

PIME Chair Patrice Johnson told The Federalist that it is questionable that Benson can be considered impartial in running the general election in Flint. Johnson noted that state law provides that no political candidate can serve as an election inspector in a precinct where they are on the ballot.

Even with the questions surrounding Benson’s involvement in the Flint election, Johnson said Brown’s decision to resign is a positive step. Numerous controversies have surrounded Brown over the years, including failing to properly process absentee ballots. Johnson described Brown’s resignation after the demand letter as a “huge win.”

Johnson said that PIME’s demand for equal representation in the number of poll watchers remains in place, notwithstanding Brown’s resignation. She said there is no excuse for the “unhealthy imbalance of workers at our township and municipal elections.”