Stories indexed with the term ‘primary election’

Adams Takes out Petitions in Ward 1 Race

Don Adams has taken out petitions to run in the Aug. 5, 2014 Democratic city council primary in Ward 1, according to Ann Arbor city clerk staff. He took out the petitions on April 14, 2014.

Incumbent Sumi Kailasapathy, who was first elected to the city council in 2012 and is seeking re-election, has taken out petitions and had 102 signatures verified by city clerk staff as valid.

Adams serves on the PTO Council of the Ann Arbor Public School District. The PTO council is an umbrella organization of PTOs for the district. He’s described  on the PTO council’s website as having a background in health administration. Kailasapathy is an accountant.

Like all candidates for city council,  Adams will have until April 22 to … [Full Story]

Borregard Off Ballot in County Board Race

In the District 2 race for Washtenaw County board of commissioners, Democrat Eric Borregard will be removed from the ballot in District 2, leaving Republican incumbent Dan Smith unchallenged by any partisan candidates in the primary and general elections.

The decision came after the state Bureau of Elections indicated late Friday afternoon that a determination made by county clerk Larry Kestenbaum earlier in the week was inappropriate. Ed Golembiewski, chief deputy county clerk and elections director, told The Chronicle on Saturday that Borregard had been apprised of the situation, and will be officially informed in writing on Monday, when his name will be removed from the list of candidates on the county’s election website.

Dan Smith

Republican Dan Smith, shown here chairing the May 16 meeting of the Washtenaw County board's ways & means committee, represents District 2 on the board of commissioners. He will be the only candidate on the ballot in District 2 for the Aug. 7 primary. (Photo by the writer.)

Borregard, a Dexter resident, had originally filed to run in District 1, which is the current district in which he resides. However, because of redistricting that takes effect for the upcoming election, his home will be located in the new District 2. Shortly after the 4 p.m. filing deadline on Tuesday, May 15, the county clerk’s office was alerted to this error by Kent Martinez-Kratz, a Democrat who’s running in District 1 against incumbent Republican Rob Turner. Acting to correct what he deemed a clerical error, Kestenbaum, a Democrat, approved an amendment to Borregard’s paperwork to allow him to appear on the District 2 ballot.

On Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., Kestenbaum told The Chronicle that he had talked with the county’s corporation counsel [Curtis Hedger] earlier in the week, as well as to staff in the state Bureau of Elections, and that he was comfortable that the change was within his authority to make. He said it was important not to create barriers to running for office. “There’s no trickery here,” he said.

Later that afternoon, Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams told The Chronicle that staff were reviewing the situation and would potentially weigh on in it early next week. The Bureau of Elections is a division of the office of Secretary of State, a position held by Republican Ruth Johnson.

But just a few minutes before 5 p.m. on Friday, an official from the Bureau of Elections contacted the county clerk’s office, according to Golembiewski. The state’s view is that it was not appropriate to accept changes to the filing after the 4 p.m. deadline. As a result, Borregard’s name will not appear on the ballot. Kestenbaum left town Friday afternoon to attend an out-of-state funeral over the weekend and could not be reached. Golembiewski said that Kestenbaum had previously indicated he would abide by the state Bureau of Elections decision.

Borregard, who ran for county commissioner in 2010 but was defeated in the Democratic primary, has the option of challenging the decision in court. He could also choose to run as an independent in the Nov. 6 general election – the filing deadline for candidates who are not affiliated with a political party is July 19 at 4 p.m.

In another county board race, two Ypsilanti Township candidates who had previously filed to run for the commissioner seat in District 5 – Rick Roe and Michael White – have withdrawn from that Aug. 7 primary race. The deadline to withdraw was 4 p.m. Friday, May 18. That leaves incumbent Democrat Rolland Sizemore Jr. unchallenged in the primary.

For a list of county candidates in the Aug. 7 primary election, see Chronicle coverage: “Last Minute Filings: Washtenaw County Races.” [Full Story]

Michigan Presidential Primary: Voter Maps

Michigan’s Republican presidential primary held on Tuesday, Feb. 28 was won by Mitt Romney, with 41% of the Republican votes cast statewide – a close victory over Rick Santorum, who tallied 37.9%. Third-place finisher Ron Paul came in with 11.5%, roughly double the percentage he received in the 2008 edition of the race, which was won by Romney that year as well. The eventual Republican nominee in 2008, of course, was John McCain.

Michigan 2012-Dems -small

Map 1. Michigan 2012 presidential primary election – Democratic participation as a percentage of total turnout, by county. Details after the jump.

For Democrats, President Barack Obama was unchallenged in the Michigan primary this year, amid a political scuffle about whether the Democratic primary should even be held. With little at stake in terms of the choice of the Democratic nominee, it’s not surprising that the 2012 Democratic turnout was light, compared to 2008.

This  year only 16% of participants in the primary voted on the Democratic side compared with 40% in 2008. That year Obama’s name did not appear on the Michigan ballot, which resulted in about 41% of Democratic voters selecting the “uncommitted” option, compared to roughly 55% who voted for Hillary Clinton. Part of the diminished Democratic turnout this year could have been due to Democrats crossing party lines to vote for Rick Santorum – based on the idea that Santorum would have less of a chance to defeat Obama in the general election.

In Ann Arbor, however, absentee Democratic voters participated in far greater relative numbers than their counterparts who went to the polls in person. Even in the more strongly Republican wards – Ward 2 and Ward 4 – almost 40% of the total primary turnout for absentee voters was on the Democratic side. In the other three Ann Arbor wards, Democratic absentee turnout was closer to 50%.

For readers already familiar with the general geographic distribution of voters who mainly vote Democrat or Republican, the results of the 2012 presidential primary in Michigan likely offer little to refute prevailing wisdom.

After the jump we take a geographic look at Democratic participation, as well as the performance of Romney, Santorum and Paul. We’ve mapped out results at the state level (by county), the Washtenaw County level (by township and city) and the city of Ann Arbor (by precinct). Statewide data is from the secretary of state’s office election results, while the data for jurisdictions within Washtenaw County is based on the county clerk’s election results. Mapping is done through with shape files available through the city of Ann Arbor. [Full Story]

Recounting the Rabhi-Fried Recount

Last Thursday, a hand recount of ballots was conducted in the District 11 Democratic primary election for Washtenaw County commissioner. Initial results from the Aug 3. election had yielded Yousef Rabhi as the winner in a field of four candidates – by one vote. The candidate with 997 votes counted on election day, compared to Rabhi’s 998, was Mike Fried, who asked that the ballots be recounted.

Alice Ralph Jan BenDor Conan Smith Mike Fried

Before the Aug. 26 recounting got started, Conan Smith (left), a current county commissioner acting as one of Youself Rabhi's official "watchers," chats with Mike Fried (right), who'd asked for the recount. Shooting video for the Michigan Election Reform Alliance was Jan BenDor. Seated in the background is Alice Ralph, who came third in the balloting for the District 11 seat.

The process started around 12:30 p.m., and about four hours later in the lower level conference room of the county building at 200 N. Main St., the final ballots had been recounted – the last ones coming from Precinct 2 in Ann Arbor Township. [District 11 covers parts of southeast Ann Arbor and one precinct in Ann Arbor Township.]

Fried summed up the afternoon, conceding to Rabhi – who was still the winner after the recounting, with a relatively comfortable margin of two votes: “Well, congratulations!”

Fried continued with compliments all around for  the board of canvassers and the election inspectors who handled the recounting, saying he was amazed that they had finished in four hours.

The board of canvassers consists of Tony DeMott (R), Melodie Gable (R), Ulla Roth (D), and Carol Kuhnke (D). The news was first reported by The Ann Arbor Chronicle live from the scene: “Rabhi Prevails on Recount.”

The work might have been completed sooner, had it not been for a snafu with the Ann Arbor Township ballot box. Initially, the box for Precinct 1, not Precinct 2, had been delivered for recounting. Getting access to the correct box depended on tracking down someone with a key to the room in the township clerk’s office, where the ballots are stored.

Recounted totals for the four candidates: Yousef Rabhi, 999; Mike Fried, 997; Alice Ralph, 280; LuAnne Bullington, 108.

The afternoon included a range of scenarios that illuminated some of the more arcane aspects of the voting system. Also in attendance was Joe Baublis, who will be on the ballot for the Republicans in November for the District 11 county board seat. He posed a question at the start of the proceedings: How much will this recount cost taxpayers? [Full Story]