DETROIT (AP) – Overwhelmingly Democratic Detroit will see a voter turnout of 10 percent to 12 percent in Tuesday’s state presidential primary, with many people casting ballots out of pride at not missing an election, the city’s elections director said Thursday.
There’s a hot contest on the Republican side, with four active candidates on the ballot and Michigan native Mitt Romney trying to hold off a challenge from Rick Santorum.
On the Democratic side, voters can choose between President Barack Obama and uncommitted delegates. The state Democratic Party is bypassing the primary to choose delegates at caucuses on May 5.
There are no other issues on Detroit’s ballot, and elections director Daniel A. Baxter said many voters will cast ballots to preserve their voting histories.
Baxter said he has received 20,500 absentee ballots out of about 30,000 applications sent out. He says only 2,004 were sent to people registered as Republicans.
“Detroit is a predominantly Democratic city, about 90 percent,” Baxter said at a news conference.
The situation was different four years ago, when Hillary Rodham Clinton was on the ballot along with uncommitted delegates. Obama’s name wasn’t on the ballot, but Baxter said much of the pro-Obama vote went to the uncommitted list that came in ahead of Clinton.
Detroit has 529 polling precincts for its 550,874 registered voters. The city’s population fell sharply between 2000 and 2010 to about 714,000. As a result, the number of precincts is being cut to 491 in future elections.
“We have one precinct now where there are fewer than four voters,” Baxter said.
© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.