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Court: Winning candidate should have been barred from ballot

June 25, 2021 GMT

GOODRICH, Mich. (AP) — A woman who won an election in a Genesee County community should have been scratched from the ballot for failing to indicate that she’s a U.S. citizen, the Michigan Court of Appeals said.

Months later, no one is trying to remove Sherry Moore from the city council in Goodrich, southeast of Flint. But the appeals court said Judge Mark Latchana exceeded his authority when he overruled election officials and put her on the November ballot.

“We conclude that the issue is a matter of public significance. ... Finally, it is clear that the trial court is in need of guidance,” the court said in a 3-0 opinion.

Moore had been disqualified by the Genesee County Election Commission after failing to check a box about citizenship on her official paperwork.

Latchana “erred in, apparently, characterizing plaintiff’s omission as ‘a very small error,’” the appeals court said Thursday. “In fact, as the Michigan election law makes clear, it was a critical error that rendered plaintiff’s (document) facially invalid.”

Nothing in the law allows the affidavit to be fixed after the filing deadline, said judges Amy Ronayne Krause, Kathleen Jansen and Michael Kelly.