By David Fleet
Area voter turnout outpaced state numbers following a record-setting voting in the Nov. 8 midterm election. According to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson 58 percent of voters statewide turned out, which broke the turnout record for a midterm election.
“Thousands of Republican, Democratic and independent election clerks and workers securely counted ballots through the day and night to provide Michigan voters their unofficial election results as quickly as possible,” said Benson, following the election. “In the days ahead, clerks will now tirelessly dedicate themselves to canvassing their elections to confirm their accuracy before certification, demonstrating again their commitment to the integrity of Michigan elections and our democracy.”
Locally, following the recent 2022 midterm since the 2018 election more residents have registered and voted. Some of the reason stems from Michigan voters approving the no-reason absentee voting in 2018. Another possible reason are some heated issues on past ballots such as recreational marijuana and abortion.
In Atlas Township, 6,928 voters registered and 4,740 (69 percent) cast ballots. There were 1,870 absentee voters in 2022. In comparison, in the 2018 midterm election 6,338 voters registered and 4,304 (68 percent) cast ballots. There were 590 more registered voters since the last midterm.
Voter turnout was one of the highest in Genesee County, said Katie Vick, Atlas Township clerk.
“Notable, in 2018 when marijuana was on the ballot, we had many last minute registration of 18- 25 year old voters,” said Vick. “This election, with the abortion issue on the ballot, it was older women who came in and registered. For some, they (voters) shared it was the first time they ever cast a ballot, others said my husband does not want me to vote. Proposal three set the tone for some voters.”
In Brandon Township,13,560 voters registered and 8,124 (60 percent) cast ballots. There were 2,993 absentee voters. In comparison, during the 2018 midterm election 12,226 voters registered and 7,575 cast (62 percent) cast ballots. There are now 1,334 more registered voters in the township.
In Groveland Township, 5,178 voters registered and 3,182 (61 percent) cast ballots. There were 1,162 absentee voters in 2022. In comparison, during the 2018 midterm election 4,418 voters registered and 2,949 (67 percent) cast ballots. Since 2018, there are 760 more voters in the township.
The law requires county canvassers to complete their work and certify the results by Nov. 22, and then the bipartisan Board of State Canvassers must do the same by Nov. 28. If elections require or candidates request recounts, those occur after the canvasses are complete and the election is certified.
By David Fleet