There's really nothing I love more than election law -- well, maybe invertebrate paleontology, but that's a whole other story.
Robert Davis has filed a lawsuit asking the circuit court to remove Mary Kovari's name from the November ballot. Kovari is, at least for the time being, a candidate for the new Detroit Public Schools Community District ("DPSCD") school board. Davis claims that Kovari did not reside in the City of Detroit for 30 days before the filing deadline as required by state law.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the attorney for the Wayne County Elections Commission has stated that "school board candidates only need be a resident of their district within 30 days of the date of the general election."
I have no idea where Kovari lives or how long she has resided in the City of Detroit. (She apparently indicated on her affidavit of identity that she had only lived in Wayne County for six days, but her lawyer says that was a mistake). I do know, however, that the attorney for the Wayne County Elections Commission is just plain wrong.
A regular or special "school district" election must be conducted in accordance with Chapter XIV of the Michigan election law. MCL 380.1206. This includes an election in "a community district," such as DPSCD. MCL 380.6(1).
Under Chapter XIV of the Michigan election law, an individual is only eligible to appear on the ballot as a candidate for school board if he or she is both a "qualified" elector and a "registered" elector "by the filing deadline." MCL 168.302. The geographic boundaries of DPSCD are the same as the geographic boundaries of the City of Detroit. See MCL 380.383. A "qualified" elector is an individual who possesses the requisite qualifications under the Michigan Constitution, "and who has resided in the city or township for 30 days." MCL 168.10(1).
The filing deadline for this November's DPSCD school board election was "4 p.m. on the fifteenth Tuesday before the election date," or July 26, 2016. MCL 380.384(4).
In other words, to be eligible to run for the DPSCD school board in this November's election, an individual must have been a "qualified" elector of the district by 4 p.m. on July 26, 2016. MCL 168.302. And to have been a "qualified" elector of the district by 4 p.m. on July 26, 2016, the individual must have -- among other things -- "resided in the city [of Detroit]" by June 26, 2016. MCL 168.10(1).