Aug. 7 primary election: Early voter turnout, info on sample ballots, polling places and more
Melanie Maxwell I AnnArbor.com
- Related coverage: Aug. 7 primary election: Find your polling place, ballot and more
Though voters were trickling slowly into polls for the primary election Tuesday, elections officials are confident Washtenaw County voters will turn out in typical numbers.
Ed Golembiewski, director of elections for Washtenaw County, said he’s anticipating about 16 to 20 percent voter turnout in the primary election.
Though the turnout for the state primary is never huge, Golembiewski said things are on par this year to reach the average.
In 2010, 21 percent of Washtenaw County voters turned out for the primary - which was high, Golembiewski said.
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, Golembiewski reported “slow but steady” turnout, and six precincts with polling locations in downtown Ann Arbor were reporting voter turnout percentages in the single digits.
In the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library on Fifth Avenue in Precinct 1 of the 5th Ward, 32 voters had showed up at the polls by 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. There is also a contested Democratic primary race in the 5th Ward for a seat on the Ann Arbor City Council between Chuck Warpehoski and Vivienne Armentrout.
Poll workers at the Michigan League at 911 N. University Ave. reported similar results. As of 2 p.m., 0.25 percent of voters in Precinct 1 of the Ann Arbor 3rd Ward and 0.72 percent of voters Princinct 2 3rd Ward had cast their ballots.
There is no primary for the Ann Arbor City Council in the 3rd Ward. In the 1st Ward where there is a contested Democratic primary race in the Ann Arbor City Council seat between Sumi Kailasapathy and Eric Sturgis, voter turnout was worse as of early Tuesday afternoon.
At the Michigan Union at 530 South State St., the polling location for Precinct 1 in the Ann Arbor 1st Ward, workers reported eight voters had cast their ballots as of 1:45 p.m. In Precinct 2, no one had showed up as of the same time.
Poll workers said most of the voters in those precincts were university students that were out-of-town for the summer — yet full elections staff were ready and waiting to tabulate results in the polling locations.
Melanie Maxwell I AnnArbor.com
Turnout at the 3rd Ward, precinct 3 polling location was the highest with almost 8 percent voter turnout as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. For the majority of the precincts in Ypsilanti, turnout ranged between about 3.6 to 4.8 percent as of early afternoon, said Ypsilanti city clerk intern Sylvonna Reed.
“Democracy is costly,” said Marge VanMeter, poll worker at the First Ward, Precinct 1 polling location in the Michigan Union, as she waited patiently for the next voter to arrive.
Poll workers are paid $9 an hour to staff polling locations on Election Day, and also receive extensive paid training to make sure elections are run according to the law.
“Great pains are taken to make sure it happens legally,” VanMeter said.
For the primary election, poll workers are using a new electronic poll book system for the first time to work out all the kinks before the November general election.
Poll workers at precincts in downtown Ann Arbor agreed that the new system was easy to use and made their job faster.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. AnnArbor.com will have election results as they become available Tuesday night. Check Annarbor.com for the latest updates.
- See your ballot and find your polling place.
- AnnArbor.com mega guide to the election.
- View Washtenaw County election results as they become available.