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Posted on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

Heading into Election Day, 16.5% of Washtenaw County voters have already cast ballots

By Amy Biolchini

Before the polls even open Tuesday morning for the general election, many Washtenaw County voters will have cast their ballots.

About 16.5 percent of the registered voters in Washtenaw County have voted using absentee ballots as of Saturday, said Ed Golembiewski, elections director for Washtenaw County.

The total number of county residents who cast absentee ballots Monday would not be available until Tuesday, Golembiewski said.

There are 280,548 Washtenaw County residents registered to vote in Tuesday’s election, Golembiewski said. That’s 11,148 more voters than were registered for the August primary election.

In the city of Ann Arbor, about 13,500 absentee ballots have been issued and 81 percent of them have been returned as of midday Monday, according to Jackie Beaudry, city clerk.

That means about 10.5 percent of Ann Arbor’s 103,918 registered voters have already cast their ballots prior to Election Day.

Michigan polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday for the election.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Stephen Lange Ranzini

Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

@Janet Neary: That is an interesting observation. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Ann Arbor is 113,934. See:

Janet Neary

Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

I think it's interesting that there are almost 104,000 registered voters in Ann Arbor, which if I remember correctly is about the total population of the city. We clearly have many registered voters who no longer live here. So the percentage of eligible people who are voting is much higher than it appears. Or am I wrong about the population figures?

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

@Amy Biolchini: If "16.5 percent of the registered voters in Washtenaw County have voted using absentee ballots" in this presidential electon, how many had voted by now in the last presidential election? That would be useful data to put this statistic in context. Also the same data set for Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti versus the entire county would be useful, because that would then indicate the degree to which Democratic or Republican trending voters are turning out to vote.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

16.5% is a greater percentage of voters than the grand total of 16.02% of registered voters who bothered to step up in the August primary.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 9:18 a.m.

The early bird gets the worm. - or so the saying goes. If that saying applies to early voters, then the implication is dark (or at least unpalatable to normal people). Will we get a worm for president? Well, all that's left is to stand back in awe while we await the outcome of the mighty mental effort put forth by millions pondering the flood of truthful, accurate and complete information kindly provided by our two main political parties. I for one appreciate the dozens of promotional phone calls and pieces of mail informing me of the Truth about the candidates we have to select to run our government. The first presidential election was 1789, meaning this is something like our 55th presidential election. I will sleep well knowing that we will select the best candidates as we have done every single time since this practice was instituted in the United States. It's like making 55 consecutive perfect strikes in bowling. This is a monumental achievement on the part of voters but it would not be possible if not for the flood of truthful, accurate and complete information kindly provided by our two main political parties. The truthfulness, accuracy and completeness of the Democrats and the Republicans is truly astounding. The quality of character of all those in charge of both parties is unmatched by anyone this side of... Hades.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Actually, the first presidential election was in 1774 under the Continental Congress. It was the first national government of the United States. George Washington referred to it as "the most important seat in the United States."


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 3:49 a.m.

We should have universal mail-in voting as is done in Oregon. In fact, all registered voters should be required to participate in mail-in voting under penalty of fine. (Cue for Republicans to respond in shock at the prospects of another government mandate,) This will thwart most Republican efforts to impede voting by minorities and poor people who vote overwhelmingly for Democrats who care about them.


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

Here's a data-driven argument for instituting some form of early voting -- even in limited or consolidated locations -- rather than limiting the time during which a ballot can be cast in person to a single day.

Ron Granger

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

I already wrote Frank Zappa in for everything.