The signature of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is among those disqualified from former U.S. House of Representatives candidate Adam Hollier’s nominating petitions.

Wayne County Clerk Cathy M. Garrett issued a determination that effectively eliminates Hollier from the Democratic field for the 13th District U.S. House seat currently occupied by incumbent Rep. Shri Thanedar, D-Detroit. Among her findings was that Benson’s signature on the petition was dated after petition circulator Londell Thomas’ date of signing.

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Garrett’s staff verified only 863 signatures, 137 less than the 1,000 signatures necessary to qualify Hollier for the Aug. 6 primary. The Staff Report noted that 1,553 signatures were filed on behalf of Hollier. Of those 1,553 signatures, 115 were discounted under face review; 575 signatures were discounted under challenge due to a signer not registered to vote, not registered within the district, duplicated signatures, or miscellaneous identifying issues.

Of the signatures flagged as questionable, the balance “presented no likeness or similarity to the digital signature on file.”

The report noted that most of the signatures challenged by Thanedar “contained similar handwriting or clear indications that the signatures were not genuine and contained elements indicative of fraud.” The report also states that “it is uncommon for an entire petition sheet to contain this level of signature irregularities.”

The Staff Report recommended 28 petition pages for disqualification “due to obvious fraud.” Another eight pages “were found to have some signatures with redeeming qualities intermingled with fraudulent signatures.”

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In a post on X, Hollier registered his disappointment.

Thanedar issued the petition challenge against Hollier, challenging 800 signatures collected by Thomas, Johnny Walker and Jasmine Webb.

“A thorough and comprehensive check of the petition signatures against the qualified voter file has been completed of the entire set of petitions filed by Candidate Hollier, not just the signatures identified in your challenge,” Garrett wrote in her letter to Thanedar upholding his challenge.

“The Elections Division staff reviewed all petition signatures that were not previously disqualified due to fraud,” Garrett’s letter continues. “While reviewing the response, in order to rehabilitate any signatures that may have been previously flagged or disqualified, many of the fraudulent signatures were from voters not registered withing the 13th Congressional district, or the signatures presented an alert within the petition verification module that the signers name had already been recorded as a valid signature. When duplicate signatures are confirmed, both signatures are discounted from the total number of valid signatures. This is particularly noted because even with the additional review and verification, more signatures were discounted due to the reasons stated above.”

Garrett concludes: “In conjunction with the Staff Report issued on Thursday, May 16, 2024, I am adopting the staff’s recommendation and hereby determine the nominating petitions are insufficient in number to allow candidate Adam Hollier’s name to appear on the August 6, 2024 Primary Election ballot for the office of U.S. Representative in Congress — 13th District.” (emphasis in the original)

In response to a text message from The Midwesterner, Thanedar stated: “Clerk Garrett agreed that Adam did not have enough signatures to get on the ballot and upheld the rule of law. I personally collected hundreds of signatures and enjoyed talking to my constituents directly and listening to their concerns. I look forward to a vigorous campaign with those on the ballot as I will continue to talk about my record and accomplishments for the 13th District. I’m confident that the voters will put their faith in me for another term.”