Michigan Democrats may soon find themselves with even fewer alternatives to Gretchen Whitmer, despite attempts by party leaders to avoid her nomination.
According to a new report by Bridge Magazine, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed, who is considered the “most credible challenger” to Whitmer, is facing new questions about his ability to run on the Democratic primary ballot. The Michigan constitution requires that gubernatorial candidates be registered electors in the state for four years prior to the general election, but according to New York Department of Elections records, El-Sayed was a registered New York State voter as recently as March 2015. El-Sayed only registered in Michigan in 2016, using a New York driver’s license.
With El-Sayed’s candidacy facing serious doubts from election lawyers, one of whom called the case against him a “slam dunk,” Michigan Dems may begin to further realize that they are stuck with Whitmer.
Bridge Magazine has more:
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed’s life story is a cornerstone of the Democrat’s campaign for Michigan governor.
But a key chapter in that narrative, a professorship at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York, may threaten El-Sayed’s ability to make it onto the the Aug. 7 primary ballot, where polls indicate he is the most credible challenger to Democratic front-runner Gretchen Whitmer.
That’s because the Michigan Constitution requires gubernatorial candidates be a ‘registered elector in this state’ for four years before the general election – and El-Sayed was registered to vote in Manhattan as recently as March 2015, New York Department of Elections records show.
El-Sayed re-registered in Michigan in 2016 and did so with a New York driver license, according to Michigan Secretary of State records.
‘This may be a problem. This may be something that the courts may have to decide,’ said Ed Sarpolus, executive director of the Target-Insyght polling firm in Lansing.
Six election lawyers from Michigan reviewed El-Sayed’s voting records at the behest of Bridge Magazine. All but one raised serious questions about his legal qualifications to be on the 2018 state ballot. One called the case against him a ‘slam dunk.’
The issue likely wouldn’t come to a head until El-Sayed files paperwork making his campaign official. Among them is an affidavit of identity swearing he meets constitutional requirements to be a candidate. The deadline is April 24.