In part due to the lengthy ballot — 26 different proposals in Wayne County — some metro Detroit voters spent hours at the poll, Literally. One Michigan Chronicle staffer, who lives in Oak Park, said she spent three hours at her polling place, from start to finish.
Another staffer, who lives in Detroit, went to vote in the morning, but had to leave, and ended up returning in the evening. But that wasn’t the only problem. One media outlet reported that Clinton Township’s 28th Precinct ran out of ballots before 8 a.m. More arrived just before 10 a.m., the story went on to say.
According to reports, the township clerk said rumors the township ran out of ballots were false. Another story told of a voter in Detroit who got in line at 7 a.m. and was still in line at 10:30 a.m. The voter was quoted as saying her polling place only had six voting booths.
That same story said that the nonpartisan Michigan Election Coalition verified 55 cases of inoperable voting machines across the state. In Ann Arbor, a computer glitch was blamed for causing a half-hour delay at one polling location. The same report also notes that the line at the Ann Arbor Community Center spilled out onto the sidewalk.
A report about a Dearborn polling place indicated that the doors didn’t open until 7:20 a.m., and that election workers on site weren’t ready. That same story indicated that voters in two Oak Park precincts, which both use the same building, had vastly different experiences. Voters in precinct 3 had smooth sailing, while voters in precinct 4 had waits of up to three hours.
Long lines weren’t unique to Michigan. According to the Huffington Post, a resident of Arlington, Va., spent three hours in line to cast her vote. In Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported that hundreds of voters were turned away from their polling places, with more than 1,200 calls received by the elections board by 5 p.m.
The chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, Langdon Neal, was quoted as saying the redrawing of ward maps led to the confusion. A failure of Chicago’s elections website only made things worse.
Most ballot proposals seem headed for defeat
At Chronicle press time, it appeared that of the six statewide ballot proposals, only Proposal 1 looked likely to pass.
Proposal 1 was leading 61 percent to 39 percent or 46,654 votes to 30,387 votes. Proposal 2 was showing a 65 percent or 50,341 no vote vs. a 35 percent or 27,644 yes vote. Proposal 3 had 63 percent or 49,304 no votes vs. 37 percent or 28,532 yes votes. Proposal 4, 64 percent or 49,332 no votes vs. 36 percent or 28,002 yes votes. Proposal 5, 72 percent no votes or 55,304 vs. 28 percent or 21,796 yes votes. Proposal 6 showed 63 percent no votes or 246 vs. 37 percent or 146 no votes. Proposals 1-6 had 5 precincts of 5099 reporting; proposal 6 had two precincts reporting.