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Posted on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 3 p.m.

Take a breath - the 2012 election season is over

By Kyle Mattson

Civic Duty

Total voter turnout in Washtenaw County was 64.53 percent, a minor dip from the 68.77 percent tallied in the 2008 Presidential Election. Be it the steady voter participation or technology glitches, there were a number of polling locations with long lines. Although we shared in your frustration in having to stand in line, we're encouraged to hear so many were active in this year's election.

Above are some photos shared by area voters, you also can view some shots from our staff photographers in our Election Day gallery here. Do you have an election day photo to share? Submit it using our upload form or using the hashtag #a2votes on Twitter and Instagram and we'll add it to the gallery.

The Rants

If one thing is for sure, no one will miss the television commercials, lawn signs, and online ads we've all been bombarded with during the past year. Is there a specific form of political propaganda you find annoying? Join in on this thread here on our Facebook page.

If you've logged into Facebook or Twitter you've probably read your share of political rants and the rants about political rants, in fact there's a good chance you've posted one yourself. We all have our viewpoints we consider when heading into the voting booth, but at what point does sharing those opinions with others online cross the line of constructive conversation and become an alienating annoyance?

At one time, politics were a taboo subject in some circles, but now you can create a family feud by simply liking the page of a politician you support. This is one of the most significant changes we've seen in how politics play in our lives over the past decade. The digital world has made it possible for us to share our political position with just a few taps of our iPhone screens, igniting heated threads of debate without the need for face-to-face communication.

Tough Decisions

Yesterday we saw a number of notable decisions made by voters which will result in some tough choices and continued discussion going forward.

Here in Ann Arbor, residents turned down the downtown Library proposal, a major project which would have had a significant impact in the future of how the central downtown area is developed going forward. This will include conversations not only tied to the Library, but the adjoining Library Lane Lot, if/how/when Liberty Plaza will be redeveloped, and the future of other city-owned lots in the immediate area.

All six statewide proposals were defeated, with only Proposal 1 being decided by a narrow margin. How the state and local officials address the serious financial issues facing a number of Michigan cities, including Ypsilanti will be no small undertaking.

Despite winning a second term, Obama will enter 2013 with the country in a similar position as he did in 2008 — the unemployment rate is hovering around 8 percent and showing signs of improvement. But there continues to be serious economic concerns across the country. Combined with the seemingly endless list of issues to address including international tensions, social policies, immigration reform, and healthcare, the next four years should be an interesting journey regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on.

Until Next Year...

Well, only 364 days until the next election, so political junkies can start counting down the days, and everyone else — let's head to our neighborhood bar to share a debate-free pint with friends.



Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 11:06 a.m.

Engineer, you need a prep course in how unemployment insurance actually works. Consider the following statements from Wikipedia: "The amount of earnings and the number of quarters worked are used to determine the length and value of the unemployment benefit. The average weekly payment is 36 percent of the individual's average weekly wage." and "A survey of studies on unemployment insurances's effect on employment by the Political Economy Research Institute found that unemployed who collected UI did not find themselves out of work longer than those who didn't have unemployment benefits; and that unemployed workers did not search for work more or reduce their wage expectations once their benefits ran out."


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

I don't know how I will be able endure another four years of this incompetence. I thought Ann Arbor voters were intelligent and well read? Didn't anyone study economics? Do you understand that business owners cannot file for unemployment and have not been counted in the unemployed numbers? Has anyone counted how many businesses are belly up? Do you understand that most small businesses file their taxes as individuals (ie self employed doctors, etc) and they may make $250,000 but they are the small businesses that hire people? So taxing them at a higher rate will lower employment. Duh.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 3:15 a.m.

Snarkette you are spot on. I am very disappointed in the voters this year. The failures of this adminastration are so obvious I never dreamt they would ask for more. Of course a lot of our tax dollars were spent buying votes. The UAW got huge sums when the autos were bailed out. We own GM but do not get the employee discount! Explain that. How many times has Obama extended unemployment benefits. Heck why look for a job just ride the gravy train. You got an education took a chance and worked hard to get a business going or were sucessful with a company hey we need to penalize you. We got folks on the gravy train to take care of. Romney was spot on about the non taxpayers thinking this adminastration is great and no need to take personal responsibility. Another 4 years of freeloaders! Damn shame!

David Paris

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

Obviously, you're referring to the Republican House, the Party of "NO" that Stonewalled everything that would have helped this Economy, in hopes of denying Obama a second term?

Bertha Venation

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 9:59 p.m.

Let's hope next time we can get some descent candidates to replace the Mayor and his cronies on City Council. I'd love, love, love to get rid of them!


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

So, lets see which candidates clean up all these signs littered about the county roadways.

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 3 a.m.

I picked up some tonight. The cardboard can be recycled, but if the metal wire doesn't fit in your bin, All Hands Active will accept drop-offs this Thurs - Sunday from 2 to 10pm. Local makers will reuse the wire for artworks and other projects. They are located at 525 East Liberty Street.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

"The use of video cameras, still cameras and other recording devices are prohibited in the polls when they are open for voting."

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

Would have never thought of the sell your vote reasoning. I'm with you that it doesn't really matter, it just seems a bit outdated. My main distraction at the polls yesterday was the employee who was (extremely loudly) chatting up everyone in line right next to everyone else who was voting.


Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

Kyle - here's something from the Secretary of State in 2008 that discusses their prohibition on "recording" in polling places. The devices themselves aren't prohibited, just their use, so a cell phone is fine as long as you don't photograph anything.,1607,7-127--202565--,00.html The reason they cite for the prohibition is "to protect voters who may feel intimidated in the polling place by the presence of a camera" and to deter "those who may try to sell their vote." Personally I don't have strong feelings about it, I just remembered that it isn't allowed.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

Correct Brad, but it also raises a question...should cameras/phones still be banned from the voting booth? The photos sent in are only a sample of those I've seen being shared online. I'm not sure of the history behind the law (feel free to fill me in if you do), but my guess it traces back before phones become a part of our daily lives. Personally photos like seem to be great promotion for the SOS to support and encourage voting. I understand that some voter could have concern with the person next to them snapping away in their booth as well as the fact that it could slow down the process, are there any others issues you personally see with it?