Precinct Sees Only 5 Voters By Noon In Special Election

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – To say the turnout has been light would be an understatement in Wednesday’s special election to fill the vacated seat of Congressman Thaddeus McCotter in Wayne County.

John Custer was the first and only voter to cast a ballot in the first few hours of the election in Redford Township’s precinct number five. What does he think about McCotter abandoning his office only a few months before the November election?

“I don’t know what happened, but I think that it was irresponsible to just quit the way it was, instead of seeing that things were taken care of before he left,” said Custer. “But I don’t know what the reason was for sure.”

Custer said he was very surprised and disappointed in the lack of participation in Wednesday’s vote, especially since the special election is expected to cost the state $650,000.

“If it’s needed it’s good, but, for the cost, I think there should have been other ways of doing it. If they could have appointed somebody for the two months and then had the election in November … his is costing a lot of money,” Custer said.

By noon, precinct five had had a total of five voters.

One election official told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Ron Dewey that, during the August primary, they had about 150 voters in the first hour and a half of polls opening at precinct five.

The clerk said that holding the special election on a Wednesday instead of Tuesday threw everyone off, and holding it after a holiday and on what was, for some, the first day of school, didn’t help either.

Wednesday’s primary election will pick a candidate to face Belleville Democrat David Curson, a Marine veteran and union activist, in the Nov. 6 general election. The winner serves only from mid-November through year’s end.

The candidates include former Fowlerville High School teacher Kerry Bentivolio of Milford and former state Sen. Nancy Cassis of Novi

Three Livonia residents also are on the ballot: Steve King, founder of the band the Dittlies; Carolyn Kavanagh, daughter of District Judge Sean Kavanagh; and Kenneth Crider.

The district in its present form covers a swath of Detroit’s western and northwestern suburbs. It includes a large portion of western Wayne County and a section of southwestern Oakland County. The district was redrawn for the term that begins in January, based on the 2010 U.S. Census.

A separate contest on the Nov. 6 ballot decides who fills the seat in 2013-2014. Bentivolio faces Democratic Canton Township trustee and physician Syed Taj in that race.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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