Michigan gubernatorial candidates challenge each other's qualifications to appear on ballot

Shri Thanedar, Abdul El-Sayed square off ahead of race for governor

DETROIT - The gloves are off in the Michigan governor's race as two Democrats running for office are challenging each other's qualifications to appear on the ballot.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar filed a challenge Tuesday, questioning whether fellow Democratic hopeful Abdul El-Sayed meets the qualifications to be on the ballot.

At issue is whether El-Sayed was a registered voter in Michigan for four years before making the decision to run for governor, which is a requirement by state law.

“This is a difficult issue, both factually and legally,” said Jeff Schroeder, of the law firm Plunkett Cooney.

El-Sayed moved to New York City in 2012 and canceled his Michigan license in 2013, but he was still technically registered to vote in Michigan.

Schroeder said neither candidate has a slam-dunk case.

On Tuesday evening, El-Sayed filed a challenge questioning the validity of Thanedar’s signatures. Gubernatorial candidates need 15,000 valid signatures to be put on the ballot.

El-Sayed had a team scrub Thanedar’s signatures, and the team claimed it found disqualifying errors in a majority of them, and El-Sayed is asking the secretary of state to investigate.

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