08/13/2013 10:52 am ET

Detroit Election Billboards Suffer Giant Oops With Wrong Voting Date

It's important to get word out to residents about voting, which is why the City of Detroit purchased billboards encouraging residents to vote in the upcoming general election. "Your vote, your voice," the signs read, along with the date of the general election: Sept. 2.

Only problem? The election is held Nov. 5 this year, and elections have never taken place in September.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the voter information went up on 14 billboards across the city Saturday, and more than one had the incorrect date. City Clerk Janice Winfrey (who is up for re-election) told the paper it was a mistake made by the company that manages the billboards, and she called them when she noticed the error over the weekend.

Local news station WDIV reports the billboards had not yet been changed Tuesday morning. The company said they would be fixed at some point during the day -- as long as the rain holds off.

According to Deadline Detroit, International Outdoor, the billboard company, offered an apology: "Needless to say this mistake was unintentional and a failure of our own internal copy approval process," said lawyer Jeffery R. Sieving. "At no cost to the taxpayers, we are correcting the problem."

Detroit had an approximate 18 percent turnout for the August primary, when mayoral candidate Mike Duggan won handily as a write-in candidate. He and the candidate who came in second, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon will advance to the November general election.

Some have used the low turnout to disparage Detroiters' investment in the democratic process, but others pointed out that the low turnout isn't an accurate representation. The city has more than 530,000 registered voters in a city of around 700,000, likely with many voters still on the books who are no longer in the city.



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