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UPDATE: Lansing Mayoral Candidate Removed From Ballot

Front of Lansing City Hall building
WKAR Photo
Lansing City Hall.

Marc Patrick Townsend failed to appear before the Lansing Election Commission today to prove his eligibility to run for mayor.

The Commission was meeting to determine if Townsend met the city charter’s residency requirement. Candidates in this year’s election are required to have been city residents by January 1st.

City Clerk Chris Swope reports that the Commission determined that Townsend is not eligible, and he won’t be on the ballot.

The Lansing Election Commission will meet Friday to discuss the eligibility of mayoral candidate Marc Patrick Townsend.

Townsend’s eligibility hinges on a determination related to how long he has lived in Lansing. City Clerk Chris Swope says it appears that Townsend did not live in the city as of January 1st of this year, as required by the city charter.

Swope says that on the day Townsend filed to run for mayor, he also registered to vote, and that led his office to question his eligibility. "We asked him to provide any documentation such as mail received at the home he was claiming," Swope explains, "and we told him to bring it in within the next several days, which he did not do."

If Townsend is removed from the ballot, five candidates for mayor would remain for voters to choose from in the August primary election. Two would advance to the general election in November.

Townsend is the only candidate in Lansing whose eligibility is in doubt.

The Lansing Election Commission meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday in the City Clerk’s conference room in city hall. Along with the clerk, the commission includes the city attorney and the city assessor.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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