Early turnout modest as Washtenaw County voters cast ballots in gubernatorial, legislative, local races
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional comments from voters.
University of Michigan graduate student Nick Douville was one of the first voters to cast a ballot this morning at Slauson Middle School in Ann Arbor as Washtenaw County voters went to the polls this morning.
Douville voted Democratic down the line - except when it came to the gubernatorial race. He met GOP candidate Rick Snyder on campus, he said, and had the chance to learn about his policies.
“He was clearly the economic candidate,” Douville said.
The parking lot at Slauson was full minutes after he polls opened at 7 a.m. Like voters across the state, Washtenaw County voters are casting ballots that will decide who will be Michigan's next governor as well as the winners of numerous contested congressional, state legislative, and local races and several ballot issues.
Ann Arbor City Clerk Jackie Beaudry said voters were turning out this morning but not in droves. “The turnout on (the University of Michigan) campus is very light,” she said. “While throughout the city, it’s a modest turnout.”
Around 11 a.m., Beaudry estimated voter turnout would be between between 30 and 40 percent today. In the November 2008 presidential election, turnout was at 61 percent. Beaudry didn't immediately have voter turnout information available for the last gubernatorial election.
She said 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. are typically the busiest times for polling places.
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
“I get tired of everyone talking about creating jobs,” she said. “No one can create jobs. You have to create the environment so jobs will create themselves.”
But Derek Roberts voted for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero at Allen Elementary School in Ann Arbor. He said he’s putting his trust in the Democrats to turn things around for Michigan.
“I’m a little scared about the Republicans taking over,” said Roberts, an architect planner laid off last year. He lost his job after federal dollars fell through on a public project and has since been underemployed.
“I feel like we’re making slow and steady progress toward a new agenda. I would hate to see that go to the wayside.”
In Saline, Leslie Parsells said she came out to vote for incumbent Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, in his 7th Congressional District race against Tim Walberg of Tipton. She said she doesn't agree with Walberg. "I hate that he might represent me on a national level."
At the Ann Arbor Community Center on Main Street, Gary Diehl, a retired IRS employee, said he was voting for Republican Rob Steele in the Ann Arbor area cardiologist's effort to unseat U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, Congress's longest-serving member. "I think Dingell's too old," he said. "He's been in there 50 years. It's too long."
Diehl did vote for Bernero though, believing he will do more to keep jobs in Michigan.
But Bryan Hogle, a University of Michigan graduate student said he voted for Dingell today even though he usually votes Republican. It was Dingell's experience that convinced him to vote for him. He said he's interested to see what more Dingell can do to bring renewable energy businesses to Michigan. He also wants to see climate legislation advance.