Charles Amy votes while his son Noah seems rather bored with the process on Tuesday at Goodrich United Methodist Church. Photo by Patrick McAbee.
By David Fleet
& Shelby Stewart
Area voter turnout outpaced the state average in Tuesday’s mid term elections.
Statewide voter turnout was 52 percent.
In Groveland Township voter turnout was 66 percent up from 50 percent in the 2014 the last gubernatorial election, said Patti Back, township clerk.
“Voters really wanted a say in this years election—they came out looking for a change this year,” said Back. “I think Proposal 1 for recreational marijuana helped prompt the strong turnout.”
“All went very well at the polls— the election inspectors did a great job, our reporting to the county was done by 8:30 Election Day night. The new election equipment makes it more user friendly for the voters and the inspectors too. No long lines, they were steady all day long. We had no one in line at 8 p.m. when the polls closed.”
Similarly, voter turnout in Brandon Township was 62 percent up about 20 percent from 2014.
“We had a huge turnout,” said Brandon Township Clerk Candee Allen. “We sent out 2,092 absentee ballots, and got 2,033 back in, which is a huge percentage, largest ever.”
In 2014, the voter turnout for the November election was around 43 percent.
“I believe a lot of it had to do with the three proposals through the state of Michigan, and we had a lot on the ballot with the school millage renewal and the police millage and the village council and the school board,” said Allen. “I personally think it was great that there were so many people running for those seats.”
Sixty seven percent of Atlas Township voted on Tuesday, up from about 53 percent in 2014.
Voters had a lot to decide when they headed to the polls for the Brandon School Board, Ortonville Village Council, Brandon Board of Trustees, Goodrich Village Council, and Goodrich School Board.
Three seats were open for the Ortonville Village Council. Mark Robinson was the top vote-getter with 269 votes, followed by newcomers Pat George with 238 votes and Larry Hayden with 215 votes. Tonja Brice was elected as the new village president with 313 votes over incumbent Coleen Skornicka with 261 votes.
Three seats were also open for the Brandon School Board. Newcomers Sarah Allen who received 3,061 and Melissa Clark with 2,322 votes were elected along with incumbent Diane Salter who won with 2,608 votes. Incumbent Bob Eisiminger was not reelected. Also in the Brandon School District the Non-Homestead Millage was renewed with 5,073 yes votes to 3,054 no.
In Brandon Township one—two year trustee seat was open with Republican Jason Rumball garnering 4,360 votes over Democrat Marisa Prince with 2,524. The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office—Brandon Township police millage replacement was passed with 4,361 votes yes to 2,810 no.
“The township has always supported the sheriff department here,” said Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Brandon substation commander Lt. Greg Glover. “And once again on behalf of the sheriff department and myself I would like to thank all of the citizens that came out and supported the millage and the department.”
In the Village of Goodrich three seats were up for grabs. Incumbent Tim Barraco snagged 432 votes, newcomer Wendy Ciaramitaro received 447 votes while former councilman Doug McAbee was the top vote getter with 461. Incumbent councilmember Jake Vick was not reelected.
All the candidates in the Goodrich School board race was unopposed. Incumbent Kurt Schulte received 3,346 votes for a partial two year term ending in 2020; Incumbent David Cramer garnered 3,354 votes for a partial term ending 2022; Newcomer Ashley Herriman received 3,091 votes and Incumbent Greg Main got 3,012. Both were elected to six year terms ending in 2024.
The 14th Senate was won by republican candidate Groveland Township resident and Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson with 56 percent of votes; Republican incumbent John Reilly tallied 60 percent of votes in the 46th House of Represenative while newcomer Republican Mike Mueller won the 51st State House with 60 percent of the votes as well.
Proposals one, two, and three passed state wide. Proposal one, to legalize and regulate marijuana, passed with 55.8 percent of the votes. Proposal two, to create a redistricting commission, passed with 61 percent of voters saying yes. Proposal three, to add voting policies to the state constitution, was voted through with 66.7 percent of votes being yes.
Locally, Proposal 1 was approved by voters in all 13 precincts in Atlas, Brandon and Groveland townships with the exception of Atlas Township Precinct 1 where it lost 616 yes to 633 no. Also, in Brandon Township Precinct 4 Proposal 1 tied 914 yes to 914 no.
“I believe we will have more cases of operating while under the influence of narcotics,” said Glover. “And in other states (that legalized recreational marijuana) it has shown an increase in fatal accidents. Just because this has passed, it does not give citizens the right to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of narcotics.”