You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 7 a.m.

Turnout was dismal in August primary; tell us why you didn't vote

By Tony Dearing


Angela Cesere |

When Wisconsinites went to the polls last week to vote on the recall of six Republican lawmakers, the turnout topped 50 percent in some parts of the state. It’s obvious that many voters felt a sense of passion and urgency, and it showed at the polls.

We can’t help but contrast that record participation in Wisconsin with the anemic turnout that Ann Arbor saw in the August primary for City Council races.

At a time when Ann Arbor has just gone through deep, painful budget cuts and faces more in the coming year, four challengers faced off against three Democratic council incumbents — and the public could barely muster a yawn.

The voter turnout in the three wards with contested races was a paltry 8.5 percent. In one precinct, the apathy was complete. Of the more than 2,000 registered voters in Precinct 2 of the 2nd Ward, not a single person cast a ballot. There were three other precincts where the turnout was under 2 percent.

We raise this concern not to wring our hands or to scold, but rather in the hope that we can start a conversation with our readers about why so few people vote in city elections and what we as a community can do to change that.

We think that conversation is needed. The city faces so many serious issues that directly affect all of us, and these elections are too important for nearly the entire electorate to sit out.

Low voter turnout is nothing new in Ann Arbor. In last year’s August primary, with a gubernatorial race and other state offices being contested, the turnout was a barely respectable 21 percent. In the 2009 primary, with only City Council races on the ballot, the turnout was 11 percent.

It’s hard to reconcile this electoral indifference with the smart, opinionated, progressive city that we know Ann Arbor to be. Activism and political awareness are ingrained in this community. It’s been a hot-bed of activity in the effort to recall Gov. Snyder. It was well ahead of the state in adopting a medical marijuana initiative. In November 2008, energized by the candidacy of Barack Obama, the countywide turnout was just under 70 percent.

So we know the community can get engaged with issues and candidates when it’s moved to, and it’s hard to understand why the local political situation doesn’t register with people. The decisions made by Ann Arbor City Council are the ones that affect us all most directly, and whether it’s harsh cuts to public safety or decisions about major capital projects or the discussion the community will eventually have about whether it’s willing to increase taxes or keep cutting services, there is a great deal at stake right now.

We don’t know if people somehow fail to connect City Council races with the important decisions that council members make. Or if residents don’t respond to their choices in candidates, or don’t find the differences between candidates are distinct enough to feel that the outcome of local elections matter. Does the higher rate of transience in Ann Arbor lead to people being less vested in the community? Do some people skip the primary because it falls during the summer vacation season?

We wonder if the residents of this technologically savvy community would be more likely to vote if they could do so online, or if they were offered other alternatives that have been discussed in the past, like same-day voter registration or moving elections to a Saturday or allowing voting to occur over several days, or liberalizing the absentee voter rules.

We ask ourselves what we as a news organization serving the community could be doing to better inform the public and encourage more people to vote. What local organizations might we partner with to improve turnout?

Ultimately, it’s not enough to offer platitudes about the responsibility that we as citizens have to vote. While Ann Arborites continue to embrace a variety of causes that engage them, they stay away from the polls in droves when it’s their local representatives who are being decided. Something is causing that disconnect, and we’d like to understand what that is and work toward solutions to address it.

If you live in Ann Arbor and you don’t vote in city elections, we’re asking you to tell us why not. You can do so online by responding to the poll that you’ll find at Or you can send an email to Tony Dearing, chief content officer for, at

Our local elected officials face many difficult issues, and decisions aren’t made well in a vacuum. The city hosts public hearings on the budget or other issues and few people attend. The city runs elections and most residents stay home. Nothing improves democracy like an educated and involved citizenship. Ann Arbor is more than capable of that, but it isn’t happening. Tell us why not. We’re listening.

(This editorial was published in today's newspaper and reflects the opinion of the Editorial Board at


Tony Dearing

Tue, Aug 16, 2011 : 1:32 p.m.

Commenting on this thread has been closed.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

We had a side conversation that veered off-topic, so I've removed all those comments. I'd really like to keep this overall conversation going, so I'm requesting that this off-topic side conversation not start up again. Please let people discuss this topic because it's an important one and the discussion is worth continuing.


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

I'm in Ward 3. The incumbent smelled like a well-practiced politician, while neither challenger came across as having studied what was happening on Council very hard. If there'd been a reputable local businessman, or "state-appointed technocrat" as choices on the ballot, I'd have voted for either of those. I like Alan's suggestion of an open primary (with the top two finishers competing in November, regardless of party), but I don't think there's any chance of the politicians siding with the people on such an issue. Making "a state-appointed technocrat" a ballot option in all local races would at least be supported by the Lansing politicians, who'd be doing the appointing. Having some basic big-picture information on the City's situation and what Council should be doing might also have motivated me to vote. But when did you last see, say, a few good pie charts explaining the City's budget problems, or a list of the most important things for Council to deal with in the next year, with a few notes on pros/cons and decision deadlines? Vivienne - I understand that a local non-profit bought a copy of the registered voter list a few years ago, and tried mailing to a fraction of that list. Something on the order of 33% were returned by the Post Office. I suspect that the City and County Clerks would have a pretty accurate number, if you could get straight answers from them.


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

I actually went to the polls to vote and when I went to cast my vote I did not feel I had a viable choice between the two candidates. Just to keep to my commitment to vote given the people whose heads were cracked open and who had dogs attack them to guarantee me that right, I cast a blank vote but the machine would not take it. I end up leaving the blank vote with the poll workers. I don't know what they did with it. It's unfortunate that voters who are motivated to vote don't feel they have a viable choice.


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

If I do not like any of the candidates, then I guess I am stuck not voting at all. Ann Arbor needs to clean the slate and replace all city council personnel and our mayor. Only then will we see the positive change that the citizens of Ann Arbor are expecting and writing about.

Bertha Venation

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

I'm an old lady.... I forgot.

Megan K

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

I didn't vote because I didn't know there was anything to vote on.....where is that option in the poll?


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 4:10 a.m.

It's time to consolidate all those elections into one or two. Enough.


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 3:41 a.m.

Other states require a pamphlet to mailed out to all homeowners in the voting area by either the Sec. of State for state elections or County or city clerks for local elections. These pamphlets have statements of purpose from candidates, description of milliages and proposals with pro and con arguements. The cost is minimal to promote an informed electorate. This also may work to control the number of milliages Ann Arbor and its schools put out due to the expense of informing the electorate. It also promotes credible transparency and specificity due to the required statements by officials as to relevancy and neccesity of ballet items.

Darth Pablo

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

"I believe if you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around – they say, 'If you don't vote, you have no right to complain', but where's the logic in that? If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people into office who screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You caused the problem; you voted them in; you have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with." -George Carlin

John B.

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

Deniability is a wonderful scam.


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 2:23 a.m.

Didn't vote because there was no contest in the first ward. The last contested election I missed was when Engler beat Blanchard. I felt so burned by that one that I've never missed one since. But I really think the AA Council is doing a good job. The underground structure is a bit of a boondoggle, but that's the DDA spending their own money. I think we need more public art in Ann Arbor. I think we desperately need expanded transit - including commuter rail - because peak oil and climate change are serious problems. Besides that, we're in a Depression, but Ann Arbor is doing pretty well. Our crime problem is nothing compared to Detroit's or most of the rest of the state. I think if more people read about the Great Depression, they'd also be impressed by how well Ann Arbor is doing. If the people griping think they could do a better job, they should run for office.

John B.

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

Well-said, KJMC. Right on the money, as is often the case....


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

Scary that anyone who lives here could actually think this burg is doing well. This statement is so clueless, I almost don't know where to begin. Perhaps you never drive a car or ride a bike, so you are unaware of the poor condition of A2's most essential transportation infrastructure, its roads. Throw the Stadium bridges in for good measure, as I've heard that federal funding for them is no longer a sure thing. The lead story here today is about a pair of bank robberies, and there is a serial rapist among us, numerous folks have died in fires over the past couple years, yet we cut police and fireman and SQUANDER well over a million dollars on so-called public art, which is totally useless, and ugly to boot. The mayors many politically packed commissions and boards are busy devising new ways to pick our pockets, and make our lives more complicated, while missing the big issues completely. A2 is only "doing well" in comparison to other cities in Michigan, which isn't saying much. If it was such a swell place, folks would be flocking here, and clearly that isn't the case - population has been stagnant or declining for the past decade, depending on the year. And BTW, I have studied the Great Depression - while there are some parallels, it is apples and oranges at this point.


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 4:11 a.m.

Have you ever found a home... yikes!


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

I always follow local elections very closely. This was the first time I didn't vote in a decade, at least. I'm in Ward 5. The reason I didn't vote is because I thought either candidate would do a fine job, and I don't have a strong opinion regarding which would be better. I read everything I could about them, and their positions. I'm not all fired up about the Fuller station thing -- it's not a pressing issue for me. The two both seemed like thoughtful people, with differences that were small. So I didn't choose one, I'm happy with either.

Boscu I. Boscowitz

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

I voted on my way home from the hospital where I'd had minor surgery in the morning. Granted, it was only minor surgery, and as a result I didn't have to work that day, but I find it hard to believe others couldn't make some arrangement in their schedules. Everyone, when they have the chance, should spend some time in Prince Edward Island. In that province, they routinely have greater than 75% voter participation, even in local elections. National elections often turn out more than 90%. People there are proud of their small province, and consider it everyone's responsibility to know enough about what's going on to vote. A little humbling.

John B.

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

I agree, How about places like Georgia (the country, not the US state) where the voter turnout for their Presidential election was something like 93%, even though some folks were killed just for trying to vote? We are really pathetic here in the US about voting. If you don't vote, don't complain afterwards about your government!!!!


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

There was no Fourth Ward Democratic primary even though many Democratic Party supporters dislike Marcia Higgins. If there is any support out there for a "Democrats for Eric Scheie" movement for November to oppose Higgins, please let us know. I am sure that Jim Hood, Jr.,the Ann Arbor Republican Party chair, or Marc Boonstra, the GOP county chair would like to know. The Fourth Ward still has substantial numbers of GOP registered voters, but there will have to be Democratic Party crossovers to give Eric a real chance.


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 9:14 p.m.

A more interesting question would be: how many of you Americans made disparaging comments about the election/candidates on this blog and then didn't bother to vote which is how we ARE able to express our views.. I can't think of many good reasons for not voting, particularly if you live in a ward that had at least 2 competitors listed on the ballot.

John B.

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.


Geek Chick

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

Only three of five wards had primaries, so two wards couldn't vote. Ironically, doesn't have that "no one to vote for" option in its "poll" above. If I was in Ward 2, I'd get an independent to run in November. Because if no votes were cast, that means that neither candidate was smart enough to vote for himself or herself. Just think how easy - and historic - that 1-0 victory could have been. Why the politician who won that one would have been on national news! August and June have always been lousy months for elections for anything. That is when many people go on vacation. Local primaries in Ann Arbor are media events for Democrats. Even though all the candidates for City Council are Democrats, that doesn't mean that local voters are so monochromatic. I remember a school election when one loser said something like, "The right people didn't vote." Whoever shows up and casts a ballot are the "right people."


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

There is just not enough difference between candidates. And in the few areas where candidates do conflict, it is still a small matter. If the proposed UM/City parking lot/train station/eating up city parkland issue is the only one, well that is only one and it is supported by a majority of council and thus must be supported by a majority of voters. It appears that the majority of voters are favorable of what the council is doing and see no reason to change.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 6:29 p.m.

To paraphrase Henry Ford, "You can have any party you want, as long as it's Democrat." Good Night and Good Grief


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

Jane Lumm and Eric Scheie may change that this fall.

Alan Goldsmith

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

I didn't vote because I couldn't. I live in the 4th Ward and didn't have the opportunity because no one ran against my Council candidate who has been clueless and ineffective. If Ann Arbor would switch to a nonpartisan primary, with the top two candidates facing a runoff in November, it would increase turnout and put an in to one party run that takes place in the dead of August when half the town is on vacation and not focused on elections. We need to make it EASY to vote not harder and the present system isn't working.


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 10 p.m.

Alan, are you planning on supporting Marcia Higgins' GOP challenger this fall? You are well known in the Fourth Ward for your criticisms of Marcia but the Dems I have spoken with Fourth Warders who opposed her in the past and they are not excited about Eric Scheie. Is a "Democrats for Scheie" a possibility in November?

Bob Carlin

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

Interesting--so far the poll shows that about a third thought the contests did not represent meaningful choice. To me the differences between Stephen Rapundalo / Tim Hull in ward 2, Stephen Kunselman / Ingrid Ault in 3, and Mike Anglin / Neal Elyakin in 5, were plenty large enough to matter. For example, Rapundalo, Ault and Elyakin support the city subsidized U of M parking garage which the inner circle plans to build. That alone is worth voting on. There are plenty of other issues where there are substantial differences between the candidates. As for Democrat vs Republican-- a number of the Democrats on council are actually Republicans. They just use the Democratic party to assist them in getting elected. Democrats don't really stand or fight for anything in this town. Forget the parties, just vote for the candidate of your choice.


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

Why did I not vote in the Democratic primary? Because I wish to remain independent. I'm not going to risk anything that puts me on Democratic, or Republican, mailing list. (I've seen too much RNCC paranoia mail to know just how bad a mailing list can be.) If it was an open primary, and I knew for sure my name would not get back either party, I'd be there for sure.

Vivienne Armentrout

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

Actually, this was both a Democratic and a Republican primary. There were Republican candidates in several wards (3, 4, 5, I believe) who were also seeking primary votes, and the decision about which one to vote in was yours in the privacy of the voting booth. So you would not have been tagged with a partisan identification. It is true that by voting, you would be identified as a voter and would appear on lists of registered voters who voted in that election. This would make you more interesting to both parties or to independent candidates who are compiling mailing lists. But is it so bad to be informed? If you care, please vote.

Jon Saalberg

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

12-page reports on neighborhood fences...big bucks for arts projects in a city building while cutting fire and police protection...a DDA that does what?...parking garages we don't need...$100 tickets for idling cars... I think I understand why people didn't vote - not much support for the above.

Left is Right

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 12:56 a.m.

Agree. And not much opportunity to change the channel. Little reason to vote.

Historic District

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

Simple solution: Nonpartisan election to City Council. As long as the August Democratic primary continues to be "the" election, the status quo will be maintained - i.e., little meaningful choice amongst candidates, coupled with low voter turnout.

Kai Petainen

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

Ann arbor news... I think you did a great job of covering the elections. So you did your part. But I think its good to see the other angles as well.. so although they may be your competitors...and I don't always agree nor disagree with other views... I think its good to read a2politico and the ann arbor chronicle as well. I don't have to agree with everyone, but I want to listen and respect the views of others.

Kai Petainen

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

fyi... here's a list of blogs in ann arbor... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

I did not vote because I did not know there was a primary election. I did not know there was an election because the City of Ann Arbor does not have a NEWSPAPER that would inform me of the event and of the choice of candidates. We need a real NEWSPAPER on the streets, in news stands, on front porches. Why can smaller, surrounding communities have a newspaper while the budding metropolis of Ann Arbor is paper free? Quite a shame.


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 4:02 p.m.

I totally AGREE. Sitting down to a computer at the end of the day to read the &quot;newspaper&quot; is NOT my way of decompressing and relaxing after work. I cannot take work time to read the &quot;newspaper&quot;, and it's way too disjointed. Blogs and popups in the middle of a story---give me a break. Journalism? Hardly. There are typos, incomplete sentences, and a host of other content and grammatical issues. The AA News used to win awards. Where have all those journalists gone? It's appalling that a city this size with a university (let alone one of the stature of UM), cannot support a daily (hardcopy) newspaper and allows this online excuse exist as an unreasonable facsimile. Cagazote hit the nail on the head. &quot;We need a real NEWSPAPER on the streets, in news stands, on front porches. Why can smaller, surrounding communities have a newspaper while the budding metropolis of Ann Arbor is paper free? Quite a shame.&quot;

Kai Petainen

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

I didn't vote because I can't. I'm canadian. But I find it sad that americans aren't as involved in local politics as they should be. They seem to spend more time debating about the religion of possible presidents than they do about the things that are in their backyard and impact themselves on a daily basis. someday I want the chance to vote, but for those who don't vote..... your inaction gives me the impression that you don't care. And it makes me wonder... if one of the rights of being an american is to vote... then why don't they?


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Oh please. That's presidential primary stuff and it's mostly media and interest group driven. You didn't vote because you aren't a citizen.

Will Warner

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

There's a Tim Hortons in Saline...

Kai Petainen

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

HAHHAHA... i'm craving swiss chalet, tim hortons and poutine.

Will Warner

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:19 p.m.

How's it goin', eh?

Will Warner

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

Why didn't people vote? Well, how excited can Ann Arborites get about which Democrat has a seat on city council, as long as it is a Democrat? If, as some people argue, there is not a dime's worth of difference between democrats and republicans, how much can there be between two Democrats? As to spending cuts, people know deep down that the cuts are necessary and they also know deep down that they are not knowledgeable enough to contribute to the decisions – even to the extent of picking among people who are (or may be) qualified to make such decisions. Further, people don't vote because life is not too bad here. When things get really bad, people will vote and as long as the mechanism through which the electorate can reassert control remains viable, we'll be OK. Frankly, excessively passionate voters scare me.


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

&quot;As to spending cuts, people know deep down that the cuts are necessary and they also know deep down that they are not knowledgeable enough to contribute to the decisions...&quot; You really should speak for yourself, Will. Deep down, people resent the fact that the rich own all the megaphones and that the only solutions presented by the mouthpieces parroting their sponsored viewpoints into those megaphones involve more and more austerity for those who can least afford to give up more. Sadly, it is often the people who will be hurt most by those same austerity policies that have been convinced by the voices in the megaphones to vote and advocate in direct opposition to their own best interest. This you know.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

Lou Velker wrote: &quot;There used to be two parties contesting in Ann Arbor. about [sic] 15 years ago, the democrats, by a vote, moved the elections to the fall so that less [sic] home owners [sic] and more locals would vote. Now, the plan has worked. We have no republicans [sic], and thus, no competition that means much.&quot; I'm curious. Do you think that only homeowners could vote before the change? What is a &quot;local&quot;? Why do you think &quot;locals&quot; wouldn't vote in the (as I recall) March elections but, apparently, participate in such numbers in November that they, according to you, swamp the vote? Finally, conservatives who hate tax increases complain incessantly about elections NOT in November that make it easier for millage hikes to be passed (witness the reaction to the decision by the AAPS Board to have a technology millage vote in February). But, according to you, having an election in November makes it easier for Democrats easier to get elected? Might it possibly be that, no matter the time of year, conservatives have become a tiny portion of A2 voters? And, if that is the case, it might be worth asking why that is. It is my impression that former mayor Ingrid Sheldon and former councilperson Jane Lumm (who is running as an independent this year) would be branded as RINOs by the core of today's Republican Party. If that is the case--that thinking people who are willing to compromise in order to get things done would be no longer welcome in the Republican Party--it would explain why a town of thinking people reject that anti-intellectual and extremist organization and its candidates. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 12:13 p.m.

I am always inpressed by all of the great ideas that come from progressives. The typical way to sell us on the idea is to bribe us with a new Stadium St bridge. Now that we are $14.8 trillion in debt it will be harder to bribe people, so the next smart tatic will be fear. In the debt ceiling debate about 70 % said we had borrowed to much money and did not want the debt ceiling increased But the fear card was raised, saying we may not pay SS benifits. It is a shame AA has gone over the political cliff and has no viabial competition for the bad ideas the council supports, fines for idling cars, towing every car possible, $1 million bike paths to nowhere, to list a few.


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 6:13 p.m.

That post made me (sic) too.

Lou Velker

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

There used to be two parties contesting in Ann Arbor. about 15 years ago, the democrats, by a vote, moved the elections to the fall so that less home owners and more locals would vote. Now, the plan has worked. We have no republicans, and thus, no competition that means much. That is why we have no interest. It is one party government, and the voters who are democrats, who are the majority, know that the democrats will always win...thus the lack of concern and participation. Competition generates interest. The democrats should be very happy with themselves that they made Ann Arbor a one party town. Many of those who were involved as republicans in the past, like myself, have long since stopped caring, or as I did, moved to a nearby township...sad...but true.

Tex Treeder

Mon, Aug 15, 2011 : 9:19 p.m.

I'm not sure I understand this answer. Elections in the fall mean fewer home owners vote? Do home owners only vote in the spring or summer? Also, the democrats moved the elections to the fall so more locals would vote? Assuming that locals (who are apparently not home owners) also vote seasonally, wouldn't we all agree that more locals voting means more voting? And isn't that a good thing?


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

If you had better ideas, people would get excited about them. That should tell you all you need to know.


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

I didn't bother because I'm a right-wing Republican, I thus wouldn't support either of the primary candidates. At best I'd be voting for the lesser of two evils, not worth my time. I don't want ANY of the current council members nor ANY of their current viable opponents!


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

Vote for the GOP candidate in you ward this fall.

Vivienne Armentrout

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

Your poll is constructed so that those of us who did vote can't answer, thus can't see the results. A question: how certain are we that all registered voters in the city actually still live here? I recall that during one of the petition drives, it was alleged that the voter rolls are full of stale names. I believe that one is not taken off unless one requests it, which few people would. I don't know the answer but would like to hear. Obviously, if the rolls have a high percentage of nonresidents, that would depress the voting percentage. But it was still a low turnout.

Vivienne Armentrout

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

Thanks - I was under the mistaken notion that you had to vote to see results.

Jared Collins

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

We are a motor voter state, meaning that when you update your driving license or state ID, your voting information is also updated.

Tony Dearing

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

Vivienne, I may be misunderstanding your point about the way our polls are constructed, but you don't have to answer the poll to see the results. Click on &quot;View results.'' And thanks for raising the question about the voter rolls. We can look into that. Still, there were five precincts where fewer than 40 people voted, so whatever the actual percentage, that's an awfully low level of participation.


Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

True enough Ann Arbor does have a lot of transients. But Viv how to you explain away no votes at all in some precincts?

Bob Carlin

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

I recently spoke with Jacqueline Beaudry, the city clerk. She told me that current voter registration for AA is 95,000+. Obviously, this number is much greater that the number of actual voters. When the various percentages of voters vs registered voters are calculated, the resulting percentage needs to be adjusted upward. An 8% turnout using the 95,000 figure may actually be closer to 20%.