Tom Barrow, who lost to Dave Bing in the Nov. 3 Detroit mayoral election, has sent letters to a variety of public officials — ranging from Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice — seeking a criminal investigation into the way the contest was handled.

In his letter, Barrow alleges that there is probable cause to believe that “vote tampering, ballot box stuffing and electronic vote manipulation” occurred.

Told of Barrow’s complaint, Bing’s office said the mayor is focusing on the future, not on an election his administration deems to have been sufficiently scrutinized already.

“At a time when this administration is focused on moving forward, it is unfortunate that Mr. Barrow continues to challenge a vote that has been counted, recounted and certified twice,” Karen Dumas, Bing’s director of communications, wrote in an e-mail Monday. “This is not the time for pursuing political points for personal reinforcement. It's a New Year, and time to move on.”

Because Monday is a furlough day for city workers, no one from the office of Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey or the city’s Department of Elections was available.

In a phone interview, Barrow said that the issue “is bigger than me. This is about the integrity of the election process.”

The complaint, among other things, raises questions about absentee ballot boxes that had numbered security seals that didn’t match numbers recorded in poll books; Barrow alleges that the discrepancy indicates the boxes were tampered with.

Late last month the Wayne County Board of Canvassers ruled that, because of the problems identified by Barrow, no absentee ballots could be included in a recount. Bing, however, still won by a decisive margin.

How much credence should be paid to the allegations Barrow is now making?

That’s a question we’re still trying to answer. Look for a more in-depth story in Metro Times come Wednesday.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.