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Posted on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Thousands of voters in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County cast ballots early

By Ryan J. Stanton


Voters wait in line Thursday afternoon at the Ann Arbor city clerk's office. There has been a steady stream of absentee voters casting ballots in person at the clerk's office in advance of Tuesday's presidential election.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Related: ROUNDUP: Your guide to's coverage leading up to the Nov. 6 election

After casting his ballot Thursday inside Ann Arbor's city hall, University of Michigan student Jared Boot breathed a sigh of relief knowing he had done his civic duty.

"I'm pretty excited about this election," he said. "It's a chance to have a change of guard in the White House, so that enthuses me."

Boot voted absentee like thousands of other Ann Arbor residents have done in advance of Tuesday's election. He said he followed Gov. Rick Snyder's advice on all six statewide ballot proposals.


The Ann Arbor clerk's office is reminding voters to go online at before they stand in line on election day. The website allows voters to check their registration status, find out where to vote and view a sample ballot specific to the precinct in which they live.

Ryan J. Stanton

And as chairman of U-M's chapter of Students for Romney, naturally he chose Republican Mitt Romney over Democrat Barack Obama for president.

Michigan doesn't have true early voting, but a steady stream of absentee voters have been making their way to city hall to cast ballots in recent days.

The Ann Arbor clerk's office has set up special absentee voting booths in the hallway outside its second-floor offices to accommodate the strong demand.

City Clerk Jackie Beaudry said her office issued 12,971 absentee ballots as of 5 p.m. Thursday and 8,423 (65 percent) had been returned with four days left to go.

She said she's issuing about 150 to 200 new absentee ballots every day, and many voters are choosing to fill them out and hand them back in right there on the spot. Others are taking them home to carefully go over the long list of proposals and races before filling them out.

Under Michigan law, voters can vote absentee — by mail or in person — if they meet any one of the following criteria: 60 years of age or older, expecting to be out of town on election day, physically unable to vote at the polls without assistance, unable to attend because of religious beliefs, appointed as a poll worker in a precinct other than their own or in jail awaiting trial or arraignment.

Boot said the reason he voted absentee was because he's planning to be in Minnesota on election day to campaign against a constitutional ban on gay marriage on the ballot there.

Though demand is strong, Beaudry noted the numbers actually are down slightly from the 15,053 absentee ballots issued in Ann Arbor during the 2008 presidential election, about 94 percent of which were returned. And that's one reason why she's predicting slightly lower turnout this year.

"We're not seeing those extreme numbers like we did in 2008," she said. "I don't want to suggest there's not interest. It's certainly still going to be a busy election and we're expecting a very high turnout, but there's some indication it's not what it was in 2008."

Ups and downs

Compared to 2008, voter registration is down in Ann Arbor but up throughout Washtenaw County as a whole. There were 105,571 registered voters in Ann Arbor for the 2008 presidential election and 62,864 ballots cast. That's about a 60 percent turnout.


The Ann Arbor clerk's office has set up special absentee voting booths in the hallway outside its second-floor offices to accommodate the strong demand for absentee voting.

Ryan J. Stanton |

A total of 103,918 people in Ann Arbor registered by the Oct. 9 deadline to vote in Tuesday's election, a 1.6 percent drop from four years ago.

Throughout all of Washtenaw County, there were 280,454 people registered to vote as of the Oct. 9 deadline. In 2008, there were 273,670, nearly 69 percent of whom voted.

Pittsfield Township Deputy Clerk Lyn Badalamenti said her office has issued more than 3,700 absentee ballots and about 2,500 had been turned in as of Thursday afternoon. That's down from the 4,000-plus people who voted absentee in Pittsfield in 2008.

Badalamenti said it's still a lot to process.

"We're getting hit pretty hard right now," she said, adding many people seem to prefer voting absentee so they can take more time to look over the ballot and study all the proposals.

Badalamenti echoed the sentiments of other local clerks when she said she wished Michigan allowed true early voting or absentee voting for any reason. She said it would make it more convenient for people to vote, make election day less chaotic and increase voter turnout.

State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, introduced legislation last year to allow absentee voting in Michigan for any reason but it never went anywhere in the state House.

County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum said he agrees anyone who wants to vote absentee should be allowed.

"People see early voting going on in other states and they want to do it, too," he said. "People like the feeling of getting voting over and done with so they don't have to think about it anymore."

Kestenbaum, a Democratic candidate seeking to retain his role as clerk, agreed with Beaudry's prediction there's going to be a slightly lower voter turnout locally this year compared to 2008. He predicted it'll be down a few percentage points.

"I'm definitely seeing less excitement than 2008," he said. "I think in 2008 basically there was no incumbent president in the race and it was like opening up a new era."

Kestenbaum said there doesn't seem to be a strong consensus that change is needed this year, and there seems to be less of an effort to get college students registered to vote.

"We're still going to get a hefty turnout," he said. "In a place like Washtenaw County with the highly educated folks we have here, a very large proportion of people vote in a presidential election."

Kestenbaum said if some of the "deadwood" was wiped from the voter registration rolls — including people who are registered but haven't voted in decades and people who have moved away — he thinks the real voter turnout in Ann Arbor would be closer to 80 or 85 percent.


Voters who've already filled out their absentee ballots can simply drop them in this box upon arriving at the Ann Arbor clerk's office.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Beaudry agreed with Kestenbaum there's a lot of deadwood on the voter rolls, including many U-M students who have moved away but are still registered here.

The final push

Obama won 69.6 percent of the vote in Washtenaw County in 2008, while 28.8 percent went to John McCain. There were four third-party candidates who collectively pulled 1.37 percent.

A total of 58,710 people voted straight-Democrat, while 22,680 people voted straight-Republican.

The College Democrats at U-M are pushing hard in the final days before the election to get out the vote in hopes of improving Obama's chances of taking Michigan and helping other Dems get elected as well. The group gathered Thursday night inside the Michigan Union to go over the ballot and discuss strategy.

"These four days are the most important four days of our college career," Chair Alexandra Brill wrote in an email to the group's membership on Thursday. "They are the only thing standing between us and four more years of progress and meaningful change."

Boot said his group, Students for Romney, has been pushing hard to get out the vote on the U-M campus for Romney.

"We've been doing Diag days, trying to hand out lit, trying to show people there are students on campus who are involved in the campaign," he said. "And we've been having people come out and make calls with us, knock on doors, give them T-shirts, bumper stickers, all sorts of gear."

Except for emergency cases, Saturday is the last day to request an absentee ballot for Tuesday's election. But those ballots can be turned in any time up until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Ed Golembiewski, elections director for Washtenaw County, said residents who still want to vote absentee must obtain a ballot from their city or township clerk.

Regular business hours for city and township offices vary, but most are open from 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. during weekdays. Golembiewski said all city and township clerks' offices will be open this Saturday until at least 2 p.m. to process some of the last absentee ballot requests.


Check out the MLive Voter Guide

The Pittsfield clerk's office has expanded its hours and will be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and then 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Ann Arbor clerk's office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and then 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Ypsilanti City Clerk Frances McMullan said the Saturday hours at the clerk's office there will be from 8 a.m to 2 p.m.

Because of the limited time between now and the election, Kestenbaum advises anyone still planning to vote absentee to turn their ballot in by hand and not rely on mail.

Beaudry said she thinks many voters are waiting to turn in their absentee ballots because they're still making up their minds on some issues.

"There's just so much on the ballot," she said. "I think you'll see large volumes of absentee ballots coming in Saturday, Monday and Tuesday."

The Ann Arbor clerk's office is reminding voters to go online at before they stand in line on election day. The website allows voters to check their registration status, find out where to vote and view a sample ballot specific to the precinct in which they live.

ROUNDUP: Your guide to's coverage leading up to the Nov. 6 election

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sun, Nov 4, 2012 : 1:09 a.m.

"And as chairman of U-M's chapter of Students for Romney, naturally he chose Republican Mitt Romney over Democrat Barack Obama for president." ... "Boot said the reason he voted absentee was because he's planning to be in Minnesota on election day to campaign against a constitutional ban on gay marriage on the ballot there." The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 2:58 a.m.

Yes; yes; yes; I voted already, so QUIT CALLING ME!


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

I find it interesting that there are over 100,000+ registered voters in Ann Arbor. Last time I checked the population of Ann Arbor was barely north of that and that includes those of non-voting age (0-17) and non-citizens. I wish one of the participation rates that was reported was the #voters/citizen population >17.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

But what if they change their minds?!?!


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

Democratic model "Vote early, Vote often"

Mona N

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

This should give every American something to think about . If you think things are getting ugly after a couple of days after a storm , Just wait if this county votes for obama for 4 more years you haven't seen anything .. just wait till our debt is over 24 trillion and we can't even pay the interest on the debt and we go over the cliff . Just what do you think it is going to be like when you have MILLIONS that can't feed there family's ? So vote for obama if you dare .. and wish to see what hell is all about . Or vote for = Romney and at least give us a chance out of this mess The choice is yours !

Robert Granville

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

Your logic is impeccable! /s


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

MonaN - The only way that our debt will rise to 24 trillion dollars is if Mitt Romney gets elected and introduces an austerity program that will push our economy back into recession. Another way that we can achieve 24 trillion dollar deficit is if we have a split government again with Obama as President and a Republican House of Representatives which stonewalls the President again. Believe me, some Republican Congressmen hate Obama enough to sink our economy and expand our debt if such will thwart Obama's effort. Romney has not stated any policies that will expand our economy or reduce our unemployment rate. But, heh! he was a business man so he will find a way out for us. More likely he will continue to do what he does best, close American factories and expand industry overseas.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

Mona N: What do I think it will be like if millions of people can't feed their families? At least they won't die in emergency rooms, because they'll have health care under Obamacare. That's what I think hell is all about -- no money, no health care, no safety net.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

Yea Mona....Well said

Basic Bob

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

I have trouble believing that half of the ballots cast in 2008 were straight tickets. Even if I wanted to vote a straight ticket, I would still check every candidate individually. There are always a few undeserving candidates for either party.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

True, there are always a few undeserving candidates from either party, but unfortunately people vote straight tickets all the time. The reason why? My opinion is because it is easy for them to do.

Robert Granville

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

My roommate plans to vote absentee illegally. He's not going out of town. I'm sure he's not alone. This upsets me and I have no idea why. The law should be different but I can't put my finger on why I even care. The belief that rules don't apply to him? The real voter fraud?


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:49 p.m.

Basic Bob, When did it become against the law to throw recyclable bottles in the trash? And just because a person speeds doesn't make it right and throw out the rest of the laws. Geesh.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

one less person in line isn't a bad thing. Some people will be in town but have anxiety issues, bowel problems or can't stand for long periods of time.

Basic Bob

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 3:55 p.m.

Does he also speed and throw recyclable bottles in the trash?

David Cahill

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

I expect very long lines at the polls because many voters will take a long time with the state proposals. So vote early!


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

And you david as a democrat vote often. Its the democratic way.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

oops my = young


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

I just wish these you people like The College Democrats at U-M, understood that all of this free stuff they think they are supporting will be money THEY will have to pay back the rest of their lives. Be prepared to see 60% income taxes and usery taxes to choke a horse when you are all in your 30's. Why do you think the Democrat Party works so hard on the campuses? Why do think this President only does speeches at Universities? Think folks. I was 21 once and voted for Jimmy Carter! By the time I turned 25, reality totally changed my perspective! Why do you think history supports the government sending young men and women to war? Older folks are smarter than that.... and this is no different!


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

I didn't vote for Bush, and still had to pay for the war in Iraq. :(


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

they are young and idealistic, give them ten years of reality to decide that nothing is free, they've given their fair share and want less gov't and less gov't WASTE with their tax dollars.

Andrew Smith

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

It might be nice to have a clarifying statement from the clerk's office - or from the mayor or from the city council - about how absentee ballots ought to be used. Are they strictly for folks who won't be in town, or can't get to the polling place? Or can they be used for convenience?

perfectly lubricated weather vane

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

The paragraph that begins "Under Michigan law..." explains it pretty well.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

Washtenaw Cty should have electronic early voting available, as they do in other states. I voted absentee last time in 2008, and I was harassed by multiple phone calls from different people at the party headquarters in A2 to "remind" me to send in my ballot. I was appalled that it was public information that I had requested an absentee ballot. That is PRIVATE information. If people from the parties want to call registered voters to remind them in general to vote, that's one thing, but calling me to tell me to send in my absentee ballot is going way too far. It's no one's business but mine that I have requested an absentee ballot. Period.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

By the way Ryan, why did you only interview one Republican voter when the city and county are overwhelmingly Democratic? Especially considering the clerk's comments on lower enthusiasm relative to 2008, wouldn't it be more enlightening to get also some comments from some Democratic voters? I, for example, am just as enthusiastic, if not more so, to vote for Obama for one simple reason: if Romney wins, there's a good chance health care reform would be overturned. This is hugely important to me, more important than electing the first black president or voting against GWBush's policies as was the case in 2008.

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 7:13 p.m.

Thanks, Bonsai.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

be that as it may, a better way to gauge voter enthusiasm in an overwhelmingly liberal town is to talk to some democrats -- just saying -- great job on the piece otherwise

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

I didn't go into it looking to talk to any one particular type of voter, Democrat or Republican. I just talked to a couple of voters, they both voted for Romney, and I thought he worked as a good example of someone who is voting absentee for a valid reason: because he's going to be out of state on election day. I don't think he said anything in this article that needs balancing with a counterpoint from a Democratic voter. I did, however, give a little space to the College Dems at the end of the article, as you might have noticed.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

The reason Irwin's bill stalled is because the Republicans in charge want to suppress your right to vote!


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

maybe it had to do with the wording of the bill. Often bills have fuzzy wording or some other thing thrown in it that leaves doors to other issues open for interpretation. Both parties are known to do this.

Robert Granville

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

I can't tell if this is sarcasm. I doubt this statement is true, but Republicans have been attempting to prevent citizens from voting in several areas of the country. Hmmm

Ron Granger

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

I lived in a state where all registered voters automatically received a ballot in the mail. It was great. It puts into perspective the absurd practice of taking time off from work, from picking up the kids, etc, to then try and find parking, to wait in line and get sneezed on... It is completely absurd. There are many who simply cannot make the time. Like the people who work 2 or 3 jobs. Imagine needing to take a bus to the polling place, whether because you do not have a car or because it happens to break.

Kathy Griswold

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

The Michigan Daily endorsed a NO vote on the $65 million downtown library bond. I attended a student voter forum last night and spoke to many intelligent, thoughtful students who were taking the time to make informed decisions.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

The building is definitely more than 20 years old. But the interior was redone about 20 years ago?


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

They also got a lot of their facts wrong, like saying "the building is only 20 years old", when it clearly states on the library's own website "original building built in 1957, a 1974 addition, and a 1991 addition". Way to get your misinformation out there Kathy. By the way, who paid for all those $5000 ads?

perfectly lubricated weather vane

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

A Romney supporter also supporting marriage equality? Strange bedfellows, indeed.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

Oh, your reply was followed alright, in a shape of a pretzel! :)


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 12:21 a.m.

sorry if you can't follow


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

Bonsai, I see you got yourself all twisted into a pretzel trying to explain yourself. :)

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Regarding Romney's positions on social issues, the voter told me: "I think he just has to turn out his base."


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

maallen - wait, let me clarify -- romney's statements lead to the opposite conclusion -- that is, from what he says, romney is not a moderate on social issues -- therefore, one would have to think he is actually lying about his positions to conclude he is a social moderate...


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

maallen - he said romney's a moderate on social issues -- no, he said "he thinks" romney's a moderate -- but nothing romney has said on the campaign leads logically to that conclusion - in fact, romney's statements lead to the opposite conclusion -- i'm sorry you think my saying this is a "shameful attack" -- i've got plenty worse to say but i'm trying not to be "shameful"


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

Bonsai, Where exactly does the voter think that Romney has not told the truth? Based on the article how did you come to that conclusion? Oh, wait, because he didn't vote the way you wanted him to. So, let's just twist his words to make it look like he was "a poor guy -twisting himself up into a pretzel to justify voting for Romney." What a shameful attack on a person who voted.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

I'm glad to see that he doesn't support a canidate based on one issue, good for him.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

Poor guy - twisting himself up into a pretzel to justify voting for Romney. He's voting for a candidate because he thinks that candidate has not told the truth on his positions on social issues during the campaign.

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

This is what he told me yesterday regarding why he's voting for Romney: "I just really want to see us have lower tax rates. It's unbelievable that Canada has lower tax rates than we do for businesses. No wonder why their economy is doing better than ours. And I mean, I think he is a moderate on social issues … so that makes me vote for him. I wouldn't have voted for Rick Santorum."


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

My thoughts exactly.

Dog Guy

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

U of M students do their "civic duty" by voting for wasteful millages and then silently fold their tents and steal away from Ann Arbor after graduation. It is a wonderful system.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

Maybe Dog Guy means that students should vote in their home communities instead of in Ann Arbor, since they won't be living (and paying taxes) in A2 once they graduate--a reasonable position, surely? Maybe they won't go back home, either, but at least they presumably have a stake in the futures of their hometowns, if their families live there.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

Dog Guy, not sure...are you saying these young Americans should not have a right to vote in Ann Arbor? Holy cow.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

I thought the ballots were secret. How did you come across such information?

Kathy Griswold

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:28 p.m.

If you live in the Ann Arbor Public School district, then look for the $65 MILLION bond for the New Downtown Library near the end of your ballot. Voters in the City of Ann Arbor and parts of seven townships are being asked to pay to demolish the DOWNTOWN library and construct a new building with a 400-seat auditorium and other conference center elements. (Only the taxpayers in Northfield Township are excluded because they have their own library district.) It's not worth it! See


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

It's the last proposal (in fact, the last item) on the back of the ballot.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

Vote no on this one. There is alot that can be done with the existing structure.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

Yes! I will be looking for that bond proposal and voting FOR it!


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Totally agree. Until the AADL adresses the homeless population that camps out inside and outside the library, they will never get voter approval for a new building. AADL needs to pressure the city to make panhandling illegal, which would help move along these professional panhandlers and remove the attraction to A2 becoming a haven for homeless.The homeless who camp out in the library harass patrons inside and outside the library, and I would never vote for a new downtown library until the homeless problem is addressed. You can't have these individuals in large numbers camping out inside and outside the library and expect patrons to support a new facility.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 12:07 p.m.

I voted absentee recently, and the amount of paperwork and labor to process my vote (3 envelopes that I remember, page of instructions, 2 different signature checks, etc.) must mean that absentee voting is way more expensive than if everyone votes on the same day. Maybe when we get to electronic voting that won't be the case, but I was really shocked by the clunkiness and cost of an absentee ballot.


Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 1:55 a.m.

@maallen and bunnyabbott - This is EXACTLY why we should not tolerate electronic voting machines. There is no paper trail, no way to verify how votes were cast, etc. Even people who claim a machine recorded that their vote was counted differently than they wanted - how do we know that they are telling the truth? How does the voter know what they saw or think they saw? You are correct that polling equipment that does not properly count votes should be removed. But with the money and power that comes from rigging elections, this is one of the biggest reasons why certain interests are pushing these electronic machines. Regardless of race, the corporate interest making and pushing the machines, who alters the machines, and to which candidate's/issue's favor that the machine is rigged, these machines should be avoided all together. Problem solved.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

Cash, You mean senior citizens never move? Or they end up in a hospital or nursing care because of a stroke or a heart attack? That is why they are required to fill out an application. If an absentee ballot is sent to them automatically, how do we know it is actually them voting?


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 8:33 p.m.

Can we rename people who are 60 years or older "mature" instead of elderly. Absentee ballots can be dropped off at city hall and put into a locked box in the lobby, even at night and on weekends when it is easy to pull into an off street parking place. Though people can also bring in ballots for others, there are special directions that need to be followed.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

maallen....When you use the SENIOR CITIZEN exemption it does not change unless you die! Your circumstances do not change. You are elderly and need an absentee ballot. Nope, the application has to be resent every time to make it more difficult for elderly to vote....and more expensive. It is another effort to suppress the vote. Period.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

@maallen, EXACTLY! I have read the same news about machines taking Romney votes for Obama. Multiple reports from Multiple states. Funny then people actually vote your comment DOWN when it is the TRUTH.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

Thaddeus, That is exactly what is happening in Ohio. Reports are coming out that people have voted for Romnye, but the machine marked Obama for them. It has caused a tremendous amount of headaches to fix this problem. They have actually had to shut down the system and recallibrate the machines. Which leads to what happened to all the votes before this was caught?


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

Cash, It's a very simple reason why a new application needs to be filled out every time for an absentee ballot. In two years or four years, circumstances change. They might be in town where they can vote. Or they might have passed away, or they might have moved permanently.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

@Thaddeus Just so you know there are stories coming out now about people voting on the machines and having their Romney votes registering as Obama. So your little rant is incorrect. Everyones vote should register correctly. If the machines cannot do that correctly they should be removed from polling stations.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

....throw the election for the whole Country....


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

I predict that if we are misfortunate enough to get electronic voting machines, a result will be a notable increase in absentee voting. Besides the well-known political favoritism with very strong Republican ties connected to the machines, any voting system that does not have a verifiable paper ballot is worthless. Too easy to alter/rig the vote, & no way to verify a vote in the case of a power failure, computer error, close vote/ recount, etc.... Like any computerized system, these electronic voting machines can be altered in very subtle ways. Take a City like Ann Arbor in which the voting tends to go notably in one way. Suppose Ann Arbor polls all had electronic voting machines that were altered so that anyone who casts a vote for a D is instead recorded as a vote to the R. And of course all R votes recorded as the voter intended for the R candidate of the race. The result would likely be showing that the R candidates in almost every City race won by a 75-95% margin. I think it is safe to say that no one would believe that & the fraud would be very obvious. However, particularly in a large urban area that may account for a 1/3 to a 1/2 of a States voters, elections can be thrown in very subtle ways. In elections like our recent "Presidential" Elections, things of course often come down to a fraction of 1% of voters, or the electoral votes of just one or two States. In such cases it is much easier to program these computerized voting machines to throw elections. Take a large urban area that has two million votes cast in a State that casts four million votes. If 80% (1.6 million) of the city's people normally vote D, and the machines are set to record 10% of those D votes (160,000 votes) for the R candidate, it would be just as effective but not as obvious. It would show 72% D city support (believable) & the 160,000 rigged votes (4% of State total) throws the election for the wh


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

The envelope it's mailed in, the return envelope....and a sleeve to slide your completed ballot in. That's it. They kind of NEED instructions even though people don't read! The signature check on the envelope is a necessity as well, and can be checked before counting the ballot. The application for an absentee ballot for senior citizens that must be sent EVERY time instead of having a permanent one in place, was voted in by the Republican legislature. Now that is a total waste of money time and effort...just to discourage people from voting. For me, it made me more determined to vote. Once you are a senior and qualify for an absentee ballot and request to be put on a permanent list for one.....why mail a form to be mailed back...EVERY election? It's not like seniors are going to change status and get YOUNGER. :-)

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

That's if you do it by mail. It's a little smoother process to go vote absentee in person. I saw people on Thursday getting through the line at the clerk's office and getting in and out of the voting booth in a manner of minutes, probably much quicker than they would on a presidential election day.

Albert Howard

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 11:11 a.m.

Question: Do you think true early voting or absentee voting for any reason should be allowed in Michigan? Answer: Yes.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 10:51 a.m.

"We're not seeing those extreme numbers like we did in 2008,"–– That's because, in November 2008, the news of big business failures due to lack of proper regulation was fresh in people's minds. That and the fact that people were naturally reacting to the betrayal of government oversight promoted by Bush & the Republican Party. Now, the Republican Party wants us to forget their role in the continuing economic mess and want us to blame Barack Obama for not fixing THEIR MESS fast enough. Obviously, a lot of voters have short memories. Because they're buying into that deception. If everyone who voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004 and who voted for McCain / Palin in 2008 were held accountable financially, that would correct the "memory problem" and boost the economy too. I read where campaign ads on both sides are costing well over 100 million dollars: since they are all fraudulent publications (ads), I'm sure the money could do more good if it went directly the to the U.S. Treasury - with additional fines adding to the pot. That's realistic debt reduction for you.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

First off, why would anyone have to be held accountable for voting for the McCain- Palin ticket? They lost. The housing bubble blame (which began the economic crisis) can be pinned to both parties. Bush, Frank, and some say Clinton. The Glass- Steagall act of 1933, which separated Commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies was repealed in 1996, by you guessed it- Bill Clinton. The Dodd-Frank financial bill of 2010, did not stop propietary trading, which resulted in the one day, 2 billion dollar loss at JP morgan. Voting strictly Democrat, does not create an utopia. Just ask the people of Detroit, they have been voting strictly Democrat for 40 plus years. Consequently, I am not foolish enough, to believe voting strictly Republican will create a prosperous society also. Living in Southeast Michigan, I am often discouraged, by the "blindly blue" people here. Is it not time, to vote for the best candidate; not the party they are from? We are such a blue state, that we sacrifice our political clout. It has been months since either President Obama, or Candidate Romney has visited our state. We're a "shoe in" for one, and a "write off" for the other. I just get discouraged reading all this "one party" garbage.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 10:43 a.m.

Herer's to Romey and Ryan.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

oh, I saw that movie, where else would I know working out in high heels causes you to gain weight

E Claire

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

@ignatz, I guess we're the only 2 who saw the movie ;)


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Anythings better then that thing in office currently.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

@Elijah, CANNOT is one word


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

A typical leftist reply. Can't engage someone in a debate so let's attack their education/intelligence and how they spell. It is obvious that the person left the "n" off by accident. Be thankful that someone votes regardless of who they voted for.

Elijah Shalis

Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

Who's Romey? I think Romney voters are less educated and can not spell.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

I thought Romey was running with Michelle...