Damrow declared the winner in 84th District House election


A recount shows Republican Kurt Damrow's 30-vote lead from election night shrank to 18 votes, but that is good enough to defeat incumbent Democrat Terry Brown.

All the votes couldn't be recounted because of ballot security problems, and that has state officials concerned.

About 10,000 ballots in Huron and Tuscola counties could not be recounted, making the final margin of 18 votes questionable at best.

At this meeting, the Tuscola County Board of Canvassers certified the county's results in the 84th District State House race and declared Damrow the official winner over Brown.

Damrow's attorney is John Pirich. "The process proved that the will of the voters has been upheld, and that's what a recount is all about."

Not everyone agrees with that, including Brown, who, in a prepared statement, said his goal for the recount was to make sure every voter could feel confident that their voice was heard in this election, and he's disappointed that we couldn't make that happen. In all, 19 precincts in Huron and Tuscola Counties couldn't be recounted, mainly because ballot containers were not properly sealed.

"When you get a number that high, that tells you something is wrong," said Ken Silfven from the Secretary of State's office.

Silfven says his office will work on making things right. "We may need to reinforce training with the precinct workers, so we'll be talking to the counties about that."

John Hunter was a substitute on the Tuscola County Board of Canvassers. "Hopefully, the county clerk will be aggressive in providing training to the local township jurisdictions."

That's something Tuscola County Clerk Margie White plans to do, but she believes the different types of ballot containers are causing confusion. "Standardized that ballot sealing, the ballot container, so we don't have this in the future."

While the vote has been certified on a local level, it still has to be certified by the Michigan Board of Canvassers, which is expected soon.

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