The Michigan Secretary of State’s office has confirmed that Kande Ngalamulume is finally OFF the MI-08 ballot!! Read the details–as well as the explanation for the delay on the part of the SoS office.
In any event, it’s official: Kande is now off the ballot, and the path has been cleared for Lance Enderle to replace him.
Note: For the backstory on the ongoing saga in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, see this diary from August 1st. Much more has happened since then, as you’re about to see…
This is bigger than just the ongoing saga of MI-08; this is about the Michigan Secretary of State’s office playing games with the election process!
I just received the following press release, issued by the Democratic Congressional Committee of Michigan’s 8th District:
For Immediate Release
Contact: Judy Daubenmier, 734-612-7137
EAST LANSING – A special committee of the 8th District stands ready to appoint Lance Enderle as the Democratic nominee for the 8th Congressional District, but Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is putting up a roadblock.
Lance Enderle, a teacher from Clinton County, appeared before the special committee on Wednesday night and discussed his plans for a campaign to defeat Republican incumbent Mike Rogers in November. The committee recommended that Democrats in the 8th Congressional District endorse Enderle at their caucus on Saturday during the Michigan Democratic Party convention at Cobo Hall in Detroit.
Committee members are prepared to appoint him as the nominee but learned that Land has refused to accept that the party’s previous nominee, Kande Ngalamulume, has moved out of state, even though she directed Ingham County officials to remove him from the voter rolls. Ngalamulume has registered to vote in Pennsylvania and submitted to Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer a copy of his Pennsylvania voter registration receipt along with a notarized letter indicating that he has changed his permanent residency to Pennsylvania.
A copy of the letter was hand-delivered to the Bureau of Elections on Monday by the Michigan Democratic Party. State party Chair Mark Brewer informed the Bureau of Elections that the nomination was vacant and the Michigan Democratic Party would move promptly to fill the vacancy.
Under Michigan law, when a candidate for Congress moves out of state after the primary, the party may pick a replacement candidate to appear on the November ballot. The law provides that a committee made up of the chairs, secretaries and treasurers of each of the counties in the congressional district make the selection at a meeting convened by the secretary of the party’s state central committee. Nowhere does the law say that the party must wait for the secretary of state to declare a vacancy or remove a candidate’s name.
Committee members said since Ngalamulume was allowed to register to vote in Pennsylvania it is clear that he has moved out of Michigan and that Land is merely fabricating her own hurdles to try to keep a viable Democratic candidate off the ballot.
Land is term-limited and Democrats this weekend plan to nominate Jocelyn Benson, a Wayne State University professor of election law, as their candidate to replace her. Unlike the highly partisan Land, Benson has pledged to take an “Oath of Nonpartisanship” promising to be neutral and non-partisan in administering election laws.
The section of Michigan law in question says that once the party selects a replacement candidate, the candidate’s name “shall” be printed on the general election ballot and does not give Land authority to try to block the party’s action. The law states: “The name of the candidate so selected shall be certified immediately by the secretary of the state central committee to the secretary of state and to the board of election commissioners for each county, whose duty it is to prepare the official ballots; and said board shall cause to be printed or placed upon such ballots, in the proper place, the name of the candidate so selected and certified to fill such vacancy.”
(Paid for by the Eighth Democratic Congressional District Committee, P. O. Box 4278, East Lansing, MI 48826)
For anyone who doesn’t understand why this is diary-worthy (or Rec-worthy), I ask you to read the previous diary linked to above.
In addition, I’m working on additional updates/material as I type this, but needed to get this out there ASAP. Every minute is literally of the essence.
Note: I’ve added a scan of the letter in question. As you can see, it was notarized in Pennsylvania on August 17. The text of it reads:
“Pursuant to your request, here is my formal letter of withdrawal from the race for U.S. Congress in Michigan’s 8th District.
I have also taken steps to move my permanent residency back to Pennsylvania, where I am now registered to vote. It is my understanding that these actions should allow you and other officials to remove my name on the November ballot with a replacement candidate. I extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes to the eventual nominee.
All the best to you and everyone in the 8th District.
[signed] Kande Ngalamulume
Included with the notarized letter declaring his change of residency, his change of voter registration and his explicit request to have himself removed from the November ballot, the letter also included a scan of the receipt he received from his voter registration in Delaware County, Pennsylvania on August 10, 2010.
Finally, both documents included a cover letter from the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee in Lansing, Michigan, sent to Chris Thomas, the Director of the Bureau of Elections, and signed by MDP Chair Mark Brewer, specifically requesting that Kande Ngalamulume be removed from the ballot. The cover letter specifies that all three documents were hand delivered to Mr. Thomas at the Treasury Building in Lansing.
Now, there’s two stories going on here:
The first is the backstory of the original Democratic candidate for MI-08, Kande Ngalamulume, who dropped out of the race back in June, after the Primary filing deadline, resulting in his name being the only one on the Primary ballot. OK, that was entirely his doing and his responsibility.
HOWEVER, the current situation is this: The Michigan Secretary of State’s office has now been hand-delivered official, undeniable, verifiable proof that Mr. Ngalamulume a) no longer lives in Michigan; b) is now legally residing in, and registered to vote in Pennsylvania; and c) Has explicitly and without any ambiguity declared his desire to be removed from the November 2010 Congressional Ballot for Michigan’s 8th District.
Ms. Land’s office could, prior to this development, rightly claim that the situation was not her fault nor her responsibility. However, with the 60-day change-of-ballot deadline quickly approaching (the lead time is needed in order to print and distribute absentee ballots), any further delay in removing Mr. Ngalamulume from the ballot–and, simultaneously, any further delay in replacing his name with that of Lance Enderle–is nothing more than pure political posturing and obstruction, denying the 600,000+ people of Michigan’s 8th Congressional District the right to choose an alternative to Mike “Let’s Drill for Oil in the Great Lakes!” Rogers.
Hopefully the SoS office will stop playing games, go ahead and strip Kande off the ballot, and replace him with Lance’s name immediately. With so little time to spare, however, Lance needs your help!
Find out more about him at his website:
Lance Enderle for Congress
Pony up a few bucks for Lance:
Lance’s ActBlue Page
Lance’s Facebook Page (link will be changed soon but this is the group for now)
Full disclosure: While I’m working at a substantial discount, I am still being paid. Mostly, however, I’m just upset at the mess caused by Kande’s withdrawl and am trying to help salvage the situation.