By David Fleet
On Nov. 3 for both parties, voter turnout was record-breaking. According to Bloomberg, at least 161 million Americans voted in the 2020 election, the largest number of voters in a U.S. presidential election in history.
The up-tick voting trend continued locally.
In Oakland County voter turnout was 74.8 percent with 775,158 voters casting ballots with 1,035,172 registered on Nov. 3. In Genesee County voter turnout was 65.6 percent with 223,909 of 340890 registered voters casting ballots.
In Atlas Township there were 6,843 registered voters with 5,567 voters or 81 percent voter turnout.
“That’s up 3 percent from 2016,” said Katie Vick, Atlas Township clerk. “The biggest change for us was accommodating the increase of Absentee Voters. In 2016 they (absentee voters) comprised only 15 percent of total voters or 987 absentee ballots issued. This unprecedented 2020 election had 54 percent or 3,011 of voters opting for absentee voting. It was amazing to witness everyone pulling together, we have an amazing team of election workers and an equally amazing community that we serve.”
In Brandon Township the hike in voter participation continued.
On Nov. 3 there were 13,420 registered voters in Brandon Township with 9,859 or 73.6 percent turning out to cast ballots. The number of voters increased from 68.3 percent in 2016.
In 2020 there were 5,395 absentee ballots with 97 percent or 5,250 returned on time. In comparison in 2016 there were 1,821 absentee ballots with 97.9 percent returned.
“No one wanted to stand in line to vote this year,” said Candee Allen, Brandon Township clerk. “I’m confident the trend toward absentee ballots will continue on past the end of the pandemic. Many residents signed up to continue receiving applications in the mail. A lot of the voters suggested they never trusted absentee ballot the system before.”
In Groveland Township voters continued with absentee ballots in record numbers.
On Nov. 3 there were 4,767 registered voters in Groveland Township, with a total of 3,747 voters or 78.6 percent turnout. In comparison in 2016 a total of 4,349 voters turned out or 73.4 percent.
In 2020, Groveland Township sent out 2,003 absentee ballots with 1,949 returned on time or 97.3 percent. In 2016, there were 812 absentee ballots sent with 793 returned.
“Residents were very receptive to absentee voting,” said Patti Back, Groveland Township clerk. “It’s a matter of convenience. Many voters said they liked to go to the polls but this time they used the absentee ballots due to the pandemic.”