Janice M. Winfrey

Detroit City Clerk

Speaker | 2023 Ideas Summit

Detroit City Clerk, Janice M. Winfrey is a native Detroiter who has dedicated the last 15 years of her life to tirelessly and carefully servicing her community. When sworn into office in 2006, Clerk Winfrey accepted the responsibility to govern three charter-mandated roles: City Clerk, Official Record Keeper and Chief Elections Officer.

Some of her greatest accomplishments as City Clerk to date are:

  • The establishment of the Detroit Archives and Records Management Division, which ensures that all citizens and other interested parties have access to current and archived city records.
  • A new state-of-the-art City Council agenda management system, allowing citizens greater access to City government.
  • Successfully implemented 5 new state-of-the-art voting systems in the City of Detroit.
  • Establishing a precedence in the election community by being one of the first among the eleven major cities in the United States to release 100% results by 11:00 pm election night during the 2006 election year.
  • The introduction of Ballottrax, a system that tracks the status of every absentee ballot and sends a notification to voters telling them where their ballot is in the election process (from mailed to returned).
  • The 2018 change in Michigan election law (Proposal 3) allows voters the right to request and vote by absentee ballot without proving a reason.  Through aggressive voter education and outreach, Clerk Winfrey ensured voters were aware of the change in the law.  The Detroit Department of Elections was the first in Michigan to open satellite voting centers to reduce long lines at the polls on Election Day.
  • Successfully administered the 2020 Presidential Election during a global pandemic.  Secured an additional $7.2 million to recruit quality Poll Workers which guaranteed the effective use of   twenty-two (22) satellite absentee voting centers and thirty (30) drop boxes.  This effort lead to counting an unprecedented 174,000 absentee ballots and a 51% voter turnout-solidifying Detroit as making the difference in the 2020 Presidential Election.
  • Procured an automated mail ballot system that guarantees timely delivery and receipt of outbound and inbound absentee ballots.
  • Modernized and reorganized Absentee Voting operations and Central Counting system to accurately and efficiently process and tabulate absentee voter’s ballots.
  • Introduced electronic poll books and high-speed tabulators to guarantee balanced counting boards.

Clerk Winfrey, is a graduate of Cass Technical High School, (where she has been recognized as a distinguished alum), Eastern Michigan and Wayne State Universities. She is a member of the Detroit Federation of Teachers; the Association of Wayne County Clerks; the Michigan Municipal Clerks Association; the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurers; the National League of Cities; and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She is an active member of Greater Grace Temple.