It’s primary election day. No doubt every one of you Chronicle readers is voting today – if you haven’t already done it by absentee ballot. However, you can almost bet that many of your neighbors won’t.
On Monday, Washtenaw County clerk Larry Kestenbaum told The Chronicle that he didn’t have a specific forecast in terms of percentage turnout, but he noted that the relatively high turnout he’d been expecting didn’t seem to be panning out in the absentee ballot application and return rates. For the city of Ann Arbor, we’ve been tracking the city clerk’s absentee ballot return reports, and through July 31, 3,092 had been returned for today’s election. That compares with 2,578 absentee ballots cast in August 2006 and 2,803 in August 2008. It’s certainly an upward trend.
But we’re more interested in draft-horse governance than thoroughbred races (and I promise we won’t beat that analogy like a dead horse too much longer). So we decided to see what kind of base-level knowledge people in Ann Arbor had about their elected officials. Base level, as in: Who represents you on the city council?
And what better day than election day to present the results of our admittedly informal survey.
We didn’t ask about the mayor-ship in our survey, or state-level races. But this column is as good a venue as any to speculate about how the gubernatorial horse race on the Republican side might affect the Ann Arbor Democratic primary for mayor.
That’s like suggesting that the games in the American League West Division could have an impact on the outcome of games in the National League East. But there’s got to be a way to transition out of this awful horse race analogy. And a pennant race, yeah, that just might be the ticket.