Low Voter Turnouts, Tight Races Expected Tomorrow
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A poll of 400 Republicans and 400 Democrats indicates that less than a quarter of registered voters will cast ballots in Michigan’s primary election Tuesday.
Of the state’s seven million registered voters, only 20 percent are expected to actually take part in tomorrow’s primary elections.
Daniel Baxter, Detroit’s Election Commission Director, predicts an even lower voter turnout.
“We anticipate the voter turnout in the city of Detroit to be approximately 12 to 17 percent,” Baxter said.
“We gauged that by looking at our absentees,” he said. “Thus far we’ve mailed out 35,000 absentee ballots and as of Saturday we have received approximately 2,800 of those absentee ballots back.”
Baxter said voter turnout was between 20 to 23 percent in Detroit during the last state primary election without an incumbent in the race.
Roxanne Foster, a Ferndale resident, said that voter apathy is high right now.
“There’s so many other day-to-day crises that you’re facing, that you feel that you can’t even think about anything other than eating, housing and a job,” Foster said.
WWJ’s Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said that there is some fatigue with voters, many asking: are we ever going to make it back? And does my vote count?
“Underscore this,” Skubick said. “Tomorrow your vote will count in a close primary on both sides.”
If you don’t vote, he said, you have to be quiet for the next year.
Also, a Detroit Free Press/WXYZ poll Monday morning finds that about three-in-four voters believe the new governor can have a major impact on improving the state’s economy.
Skubick said no governor can turn the economy around that easily.
“Any governor that wants to change economic policy has to deal with a little thing called Michigan legislature,” Skubick said.
“So a governor can talk about doing it, but unless he or she can work with the legislature to get it done, it won’t get done,” he said.
The pollsters say it remains a three-way “dead heat” between candidates Rick Snyder, Mike Cox and Pete Hoekstra on the Republican ticket. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is ahead of House Speaker Andy Dillon on the Democratic side.
Skubick said this race is just too close to call in the Republican primary.
“The Bouchard people correctly point out the pollster who said that this was a three-way race between those three is the same guy who called it for a guy named Jim Blanchard over John Engler, and of course, that was wrong,” Skubick said.
He said there will be a lot of new faces in Lansing; at least 55 new faces in the Michigan House out of a population of 110, and about 30 new faces out of a population of 38 in the Senate.
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