Cooke not showing evidence for voter fraud
Posted: Nov 9, 2011 9:59 PM EST | Updated: Nov 6, 2014 1:36 PM EST
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - A very close mayoral election in Benton Harbor is facing a recount. Defeated incumbent Wilce Cooke claimed voter fraud but is still not sharing the evidence.
Tuesday night James Hightower defeated Cooke by just eight votes. Within an hour of the decision Cooke was claiming voter fraud and declared his intentions for the recount. According to the Berrien County clerk's office Cooke called Wednesday morning inquiring about paperwork for a recount. “We will call the county clerk and tell them we want a recount,” said Tuesday night.
“I would have done the same thing,” said Hightower. Hightower isn't surprised by Cooke's intentions to file for a recount but is surprised by the accusations of voter fraud. “If it had been on the other foot I would have asked for a recount but I don’t think I would have ever questioned the system,” he said.
Tuesday night Cooke claimed some absentee voters were dead. “The absentee ballots we understand some people were dead on the absentee ballots,” said Cooke. “There some discrepancies in those and some discrepancies reported at the polls,” he said.
The Berrien County Clerk, Louise Stine, said Benton Harbor’s election paperwork was flawless Wednesday morning.
So where is the evidence? Where even is Wilce Cooke?
ABC 57 News called Cooke's cell phone numerous times Wednesday and stopped by his house. There was no answer and no explanation. Late Wednesday afternoon, Marcus Muhammad said Cooke will have a press conference Friday.
Hightower says there will probably be a recount but it’s pretty simple to him. “I won, he was close. Close only counts in horse shoes,” he said.
The results of the election haven’t been made official quite yet and won’t be til Thursday afternoon when the board of canvassers approves the results. Recount paperwork can be turned once that’s finished.