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Posted: Friday, 25 April 2014 12:40PM

Election Forgery Charges Cloud Future Of Benton Harbor Recall Election



The mayoral recall election on May 6 in Benton Harbor is hanging in the balance. The Berrien County Clerk's Office is in discussions with the Bureau of Elections in the Secretary of State's Office in Lansing to see if the election can proceed due to election forgery charges being filed against the organizers of the recall. Benton Township activist Ed Pinkney is facing a felony charge of election forgery for allegedly changing dates on five petitions. That charge carries a prison sentence of up to five years upon conviction. Pinkney is also charged with 6 misdemeanors for allegedly allowing people to sign more than once and signing the circulator's certificate to say he did not allow that. Each of those charges is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. James Cornelius of Benton Harbor is facing one misdemeanor for allowing someone to sign more than once and letting people sign his petition without his witnessing it. A decision on whether or not the election will be held will have to be made quickly, as Benton Harbor voters will decide between retaining Mayor James Hightower or replacing him with City Commissioner Marcus Muhammad in less than two weeks.

   

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