Recall a few weeks ago we posted this: Three Muslims charged with election fraud in Hamtramck; 4th tried to sell votes. Apparently without the fraudulent Muslim absentee votes, the Muslims couldn’t win two more seats including mayor.
On that absentee ballot fraud via Atlas: Despite DoJ interference they failed to elect a Muslim Mayor in Hamtramck, Michigan
On Monday, Deputy City Clerk August Gitschlag counted at least 170 people who streamed into Hamtramck’s City Hall, all informing his office they would not be in town on Election Day and needed absentee ballots.
The barrage of requests startled Gitschlag and his staff of one. Typically, when he worked during election seasons in Brownstown or Commerce Township, he would see no more than a handful of folks wanting to vote absentee the day before the election.
“This office gets like three of those kinds of requests” on Mondays, Gitschlag said.
Monday’s last-minute absentee ballot seekers all appeared to be of Arab or Bengali descent, Gitschlag said. (Detroit News)
Despite the fraud and the city council being half Muslim since 2009, and remaining so, Arab media still play the victim card claiming Elections leave Hamtramck with no Arab American representation. Seems the Arab Muslims don’t trust Bangladeshi Muslims to represent them.
The Nov. 5 municipal elections left the Arab American community in Hamtramck with no representation in the City’s incoming government.
The two Yemeni American candidates, Dr. Abdul Algazali, who was running for mayor, and Rashad Almasmari, who was running for city council, lost by a small margin in an election where only 24 percent of the city’s registered 11,859 voters cast their ballots.
Hamtramck, which is almost completely bordered by Detroit, is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse cities in the country. According to the 2010 Census, 41 percent of the city’s 22,000 residents are foreign-born. Thousands of the city’s residents are of Polish descent, and it is also home to large African-American, Yemeni and Bangladeshi communities.
Algazali, who is currently serving his second term as a city council member, lost to incumbent Mayor Karen Majewski by 98 votes. He could not be reached for comment by The Arab American News. He became sick in the week leading up to the elections and was reported by two supporters to be still struggling with illness.
Algazali finished first in the August mayoral primary.
Algazali came under attack from his opponent for owing the City property taxes on one of his buildings.
Almasmari, who fell 34 votes short of a city council seat, told The Arab American News that racial and religious divisions helped shape up the recent elections.
“There are divisions among the people in the city,” he said. “Certain groups work together and many people based their votes on the background of the candidates, not what they can do for the city.”
Almasmari, who has a degree in criminal justice from Northeastern Illinois University, added that he was not disappointed with the Yemeni community’s turnout.
“The campaign was great, and people in the Yemeni community voted in large numbers,” he said. “The result was not expected.”
Almasmari acknowledged that there have been political divisions within the Yemeni community in the past, but he stressed that the community was united in this election.
He added that the shortcomings of the election could be overcome by educating the youth about the importance of political participation and encouraging them to get involved in government.
He said that Yemeni and Bangladeshi candidates, who are Muslim, were working together. He added that he did unexpectedly poorly in absentee ballots, sent by mail, which made the difference that resulted in his loss.
Diversity failure alert.
However, Almasmari criticized ethnicity-based campaigning, saying that politicians should appeal to and work for everybody in the city.
“Government officials should represent everybody in the city, so Hamtramck can be one community,” he said. “I tried to work with all people, but race still exists as a factor in politics here.”
After the reelection of Mohammed Hassan and the election of Abu Musa, three of Hamtramck’s six-member City Council will be of Bangladeshi origin.
Almasmari called on Hamtramck’s elected officials to ensure greater diversity in the city’s departments by hiring Yemeni-Americans.
“There are posts that qualified Yemeni-Americans can fill,” he said. “We also want the City to facilitate opening new businesses and treat everyone equally.”
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