John Anthony La Pietra for
Fairer, Better Elections
Secretary of State * Green Party
386 Boyer Court * Marshall, MI 49068

*URGENT* News Release: November 1, 2010

UPDATE: La Pietra Reposts Corrected Candidate List for Saginaw County
County Website Front Page Now Links Only to Proof Ballots, Not Inaccurate List

Clerk's Office Still Won't Finish Fixing List Posted in Its Webspace
or Delete Erroneous Sections and Give Voters a Link to State List

John Has Also Posted Updated Versions of Statewide Write-In List,
Status of County Participation in Voting-Conditions Survey Preparations

John Anthony La Pietra, the Green Party of Michigan candidate for Secretary of State, cautions voters in Saginaw County not to rely on the incomplete and inaccurate candidate list posted by the County Clerk's office.

Instead, he suggests, they should go to the front page of the county's Website and follow the "ballot proofs" link there -- which will let them see images of what tomorrow's ballots in their home precincts will look like. Or, if they want a list of all candidates on any county ballot, they can come to his Website and see the list he prepared and sent to the clerk's office.

The homepage of the Saginaw County government Website is

On the left-hand side of the page, there's a link titled "November 2010 Ballot Proofs". At the Webpage it leads to:

visitors will see a list of all the townships and cities in the county. (The list is in alphabetical order -- but all of the cities are bunched together as "City of X".)

If you click on a particular township or city's name, you will see an image of all of the different ballots for the precincts in that city or township. (The files are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.) The ballots have been sent out to the candidates, John notes, to be checked -- proofed -- as required by law.

But if visitors go directly to the Clerk's home page:

or the office's base Webpage on Elections:

they won't find that link to the ballots. Instead, under the heading of "CANDIDATES", they'll find a link to "Candidates for November 2, 2010 General Election". This page:

is the one missing all candidates for Supreme Court Justice and any mention of the races for two seats each on the four education boards:

State Board of Education
University of Michigan
Board of Regents
Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Wayne State University Board of Governors

The situation is better than it was. Until last week, the county's list of candidates for tomorrow's general election was really just a leftover from the August primary, and included only one partisan candidate who wasn't a Democrat or Republican. But there are still two notable errors on top of the omissions:

* Albert Chia, Jr. is a Libertarian candidate for State Senate
from the 32nd District, not for the 4th District Congressional

* And J. Matthew de Heus is the Green Party's candidate in the
5th Congressional District, not a second Libertarian in that

John tried to help Saginaw County make up for lost time and short-staffing of the Clerk's office by preparing a corrected list himself. He took the posted county list, added missing candidate information from the official state list posted by the Bureau of Elections:

formatted the information to match the county’s format, and sent it to the County Clerk as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. He has received no response, and his draft list was neither posted itself nor used to finish correcting the county’s posted list. Nor is there a link to the state’s list from the county’s Website. So John has posted his corrected version of the list. He updated his version today:

to include whatever changes the county may have made through Saturday:

For details of John's correspondence with the Saginaw County Clerk's Office on this issue, visit

Over Half of Counties Provided Information on Write-In Candidates;
Over 3/4 Have Shared Precinct, Polling-Place Lists and Voter Counts
On this last day before the election, John is also updating the status of some of his other efforts to make elections fairer and better for voters, candidates, and parties.

49 out of 83 counties and the Bureau of Elections have contributed some information to John's comprehensive list of "official" write-in candidates:

And about half of the counties which have some "local" write-in candidates have provided contact information for those candidates as well.

"Since a 2006 change to Michigan state law," John reminds voters, "only votes for officially declared write-in candidates may be counted. So each precinct has to have a list of all officially declared write-in candidates, or else the election inspectors wouldn't know whose votes they should and shouldn't count."

But under the current administration’s interpretation, the names on those lists aren’t available to voters at the polls. The list isn’t posted next to that sample ballot that's always up on the wall, as you might expect it to be. And if you ask the election inspectors at your polling place, they’re not allowed to tell you who's running as a write-in. You'd have to go to your local clerk’s office and ask there. “And who gets out of line to go do that?” John asks

John believes this is unfair to those candidates -- and it’s unfair to deny voters
information about all of their choices. That's why he compiled the list page and
is posting it on his campaign Website.

The turnout is even better on John's call for lists of precincts, figures on how
many voters are registered in each precinct, and where the polling places are.
65 out of 83 county clerks have now responded.

He is now looking forward to getting voting-conditions survey results from
voters in the 5,050 precincts across Michigan on and after Election Day.

"When we put the information from the clerks and the observations of the
people together," John says, "we'll have a powerful tool for analyzing and
planning the equipping and staffing of polling places better and more fairly --
giving us shorter lines and more time to vote.”

Voters who want to know how their clerks responded to this request can see an
updated status report on John’s campaign Website at

John’s initial request to the clerks is also on line, at

And a copy of the survey sheet for individual voters to take with them to the polls
November 2 is posted at

# # #