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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bulldogger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    On Duty Alamo, California

    20 percent voter turnout expected in presidential primary

    I have mixed feelings about this if it turns out to be true. On one hand I am saddened that only 20% will participate in an important election. On the other hand I think the low voter turnout may help well organized campaigns like Romney’s. I hope this is true and Romney wins in Michigan tonight. ... /801150420

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008
    Decision 2008
    20 percent voter turnout expected in presidential primary
    Detroit News staff and wire reports

    A presidential primary ballot short on Democratic candidates, the pushed up primary date and early-morning snow likely are going to give keep down voter turnout today, according to Secretary of State officials.

    The officials will not issue an official prediction, but believe about 1.5 million of the state's 7.14 million registered voters will hit the polls today. That works out to about 20 percent of the eligible voters casting a ballot.

    Still, Secretary of State spokeswoman Kelly Chesney said local election officials are prepared, trained and ready for voters.


    "The concern is that all eligible voters get to the polls," she said. "It is not the mechanics. Our local election officials have done a very good job. They have gone through a great a deal of training."

    Detroit election officials who visited about 10 voting sites this morning said they expect a 20 percent turnout today.

    "We get what we can," said Detroit Elections Director Daniel Baxter. "Some voters are apathetic and upset with the ballot."

    The Republican ballot was expected to attract the most voters because it has a full slate of candidates. Arizona Sen. John McCain and Michigan native Mitt Romney were in a close race, while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also was expected to do well.

    State Republican Chairman Saul Anuzis urged Republicans to go to the polls.

    "It's election day," Anuzis said in an e-mail sent to members of the party before 6 a.m. "Regardless of whom you support, Republicans, please go out and vote today. It's our nominee, it's our party and it's our time for our voices to be heard."

    But voters who wanted to vote in the Democratic primary have fewer choices. Barack Obama and John Edwards pulled their names from the Democratic ballot after Michigan broke national party rules by moving up its primary date. Their supporters were urging voters to vote for uncommitted, which could leave some delegates free to back Obama or Edwards -- that is, if the Democratic Party decides to send any delegates to the national convention. Currently, the party has said they won't send delegates.

    Write-in votes won't be counted.

    Over the weekend, Gov. Jennifer Granholm urged voters to select Hillary Rodham Clinton because the Democratic New York senator left her name on the ballot.

    "She supports Michigan," Granholm said.

    A snow advisory was in effect until 9 a.m. today with as much as five inches of snow expected in outlying areas by then, according to the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.

    By 7:30 a.m. today, only 21 people had voted at Central Middle School in Plymouth and poll workers outnumbered people waiting to cast a ballot by about four to one.

    Later in the day voting had picked up as residents like Linda Mackensen, 54, cast their votes. Mackensen, a "proud Republican," said she was leaning towards Romney before voting at Central.

    "We need someone who will protect the country," she said. "Security, taxes and getting Michigan back on its feet are what are important to me."

    Bill Nowling, a spokesman for the state Republican Party, said that bad weather often causes the same results in elections -- people less committed to voting are less likely to vote because of inclement weather.

    "As a general rule, whether you get snow or rain, it works against people who might not be the most ardent primary voters," Nowling said. In Dearborn, Democratic voter Judy Polcyn selected Clinton shortly after the polls opened, but said she would have considered Edwards.

    "I would like to have seen more candidates on the ballot. I don't think 'uncommitted' said much," said Polcyn, a 57-year-old hospital scheduling coordinator who voted at an elementary school.

    The primary date itself is unusual for Michigan, which typically doesn't hold presidential primaries until February. The date was moved up to try and give the state more say in the selection of presidential candidates, but the move cost Michigan all of its Democratic national convention delegates and half its Republican ones.

    Party leaders are confident the delegates eventually will be seated.

    In the GOP primary in 2000, the last year there was a Republican presidential contest, a record 1.4 million Michigan voters turned out. No Republican primary was held in 2004 because President Bush faced no opposition, but about 160,000 Democrats voted by mail, over the Internet and in party caucuses that year.

    Absentee ballots typically account for nearly 20 percent of the vote in some Michigan elections. Some Michigan cities were reporting that more than 80 percent of distributed absentee ballots had been returned by Monday.

    In some places, voters who had spoiled their ballots by writing in the name of their favorites or who had problems trying to vote for uncommitted were recasting their ballots. About 500 voters had requested new absentee ballots in Detroit alone.

    Baxter said he expects numerous spoiled absentee ballots because many voters mailed them before the city had a chance to launch a public awareness campaign. The campaign featured television spots, newspaper ads and media coverage, he said.

    "We will see the bulk of the spoiled ballots in the absentees," Baxter said. "We are catching the voters at the polls."

    Voters have to indicate on a form whether they want a Republican or Democratic ballot. Local clerks won't keep track of the information and it won't be public record. But the names of voters and which ballot they took will be given to the state Republican and Democratic parties.

    Michigan now requires voters to show a photo ID to vote. If they don't have a photo ID with them, voters can sign an affidavit and cast a ballot anyway.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Paige's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Salt Lake City Utah
    It sounds to me like they are trying to buffer the loss that McCain is going to suffer.
    <div>''Life's's even tougher if you're stupid.''
    -- John Wayne</div>

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