Michigan 2022 Midterm Elections: What you need to know

Learn about the key races and proposals on November’s ballot.

Sign telling voters where to vote at polling booth in Rochester Hills, Mich.

A sign directs voters where to go for their polling place at Rochester High School on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Rochester Hills, Mich.

Michigan will hold its 2022 midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8. Several races will have a significant impact on our state’s future, including the races for governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Use the Michigan Voter Information Center to find out how and where to vote.

Detroit’s public radio, 101.9 WDET, created the Michigan Voter Guide detailing key races and proposals on this year’s ballot. We sent questionnaires for candidates to answer ahead of midterm elections. Keep scrolling to see their responses.

Visit our election results page to see the latest race updates.

Race for Governor

Gretchen Whitmer, Tudor Dixon
Photo Credit: City of Detroit, Flickr/Paul Sancya, AP

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer seeks a second term as Michigan’s governor. Her main opponent is Republican candidate Tudor Dixon. The two faced off in a pair of televised debates and both made appearances at a Detroit Economic Club event earlier this month.

Attorney General

Incumbent Dana Nessel is seeking re-election as Michigan’s attorney general. The Republican candidate is attorney Matthew DePerno.

According to Nessel’s website, her campaign initiatives include consumer protection, defending civil rights, and protecting the environment.

DePerno lists restoring law and order, ending COVID mandates, and outlawing critical race theory being taught in schools among his priorities if elected as the next attorney general.

Secretary of State

Jocelyn Benson and Kristina Karamo
Photo Credit: Jocelyn Benson Campaign/Joey Cappelletti, AP Photo

Democratic incumbent Jocelyn Benson is seeking a second term as Michigan’s secretary of state. She faces GOP candidate Kristina Karamo, a former community college instructor.

Benson boasts improved customer service at SoS branches, including 20-minute wait times and 60 percent of transactions happening without an office visit. She also promotes free and fair elections, modernizing voter registration and expanding absentee voting.

Karamo’s official campaign website states her main priorities are election security and integrity, giving SoS branch managers more autonomy to run their locations, defending against identity theft, and making auto repair shop inspections fair.

Karamo recently filed a lawsuit targeting absentee ballots in Detroit.

Ballot Proposals

There are three proposals on November’s ballot that voters will face, covering state legislature term limits, expanding and protecting voter rights, and enshrining abortion rights in Michigan’s constitution.

Proposal 1 – Michigan legislature term limits and financial disclosures

Proposal 22-1 would require state legislatures and officers to file annual public financial disclosure reports after 2023. It would also replace the current term limit rules for state senators and representatives to 12-year term limits in any combination. Michigan’s current rules allow lawmakers to serve up to six years in the House and eight years in the Senate, while also not requiring any financial disclosures for top elected officials.

Proposal 2 – Amends Michigan’s constitution by protecting and expanding voter rights

Proposal 22-2 would add provisions to Michigan’s constitution regarding elections, including:

  • Recognize fundamental right to vote without harassing conduct
  • Require nine days of early in-person voting
  • Require military or overseas ballots be counted if postmarked by election day
  • Provide voter right to verify identity with photo ID or signed statement
  • Provide voter right to single application to vote absentee in all elections
  • Require state-funded absentee-ballot drop boxes, and postage for absentee applications and ballots

Proposal 3 – Keeps abortion legal by amending Michigan’s constitution

Arguably the most debated proposal on the ballot, proposal 22-3 would enshrine reproductive rights as a state constitutional right, including abortion, contraception, postpartum care and more. If adopted, proposal 3 would invalidate a 1931 Michigan law banning abortions and punishing those who perform the procedure with up to four years in prison.

Gonwer News Service Executive Editor and Publisher Zachary Gorchow joined Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson to break down all three proposals on November’s ballot.


Congressional Races

Democrats, Republicans and independent candidates will soon learn how Michigan’s redrawn congressional districts will affect their races. Several incumbents are seeking re-election in districts that include new constituents. Keep reading to learn about the congressional district races that cover all or parts of Southeast Michigan.

7th Congressional District

Michigan’s 7th Congressional District includes Lansing and the surrounding area, but also has Howell and Brighton within its borders.

Democratic incumbent Elissa Slotkin relocated to Lansing after the redistricting process moved her residence in Holly to another district. Slotkin’s Republican challenger is state senator Tom Barrett, who also served in the Michigan House.

8th Congressional District

Michigan’s redrawn 8th Congressional District saw it lose some northern territories, but still includes the Tri-Cities region. Midland is now part of the 8th Congressional District.

Democratic incumbent Dan Kildee is seeking his sixth term in Congress. Kildee’s Republican challenger is Paul Junge, who served under former President Donald Trump at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Despite Kildee’s winning streak, the race is considered a toss-up by the Cook Political Report due to the redistricting results.

9th Congressional District

Michigan’s 9th Congressional District includes the Thumb region, as well as northern parts of Oakland and Macomb Counties.

Republican incumbent Lisa McClain seeks a second term as she faces Democrat Brian Jaye. Libertarian Jacob Kelts and Jim Walkowicz of the Working Class Party are also running for the 9th Congressional District.

10th Congressional District

Michigan’s redrawn 10th Congressional District covers southern Macomb County and parts of Oakland County, specifically Rochester and Rochester Hills.

Former Macomb County judge and Democratic nominee Carl Marlinga faces three-time Republican candidate John James. James unsuccessfully ran for Michigan’s U.S. Senate seats in 2018 and 2020, losing to Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, respectively.

11th Congressional District

Michigan’s new 11th Congressional District focuses entirely on Oakland County. The redrawn district extends as north as Waterford, and as south as Ferndale and Royal Oak Township.

After surviving a high-profile Democratic primary race against fellow incumbent Andy Levin back in August, Haley Stevens faces Republican challenger Mark Ambrose. Ambrose is a military veteran and financial analyst.

12th Congressional District

Michigan’s redrawn 12th Congressional District is one of two districts that includes Detroit. The 12th district includes Detroit’s west side, plus western Wayne County cities such as Livonia, Redford and Westland.

High-profile progressive congress member Rashida Tlaib is running for re-election. Her Republican opponent is Steven Elliott, a military veteran and owner of the Oakland County-based American Pride Tattoo Studio locations.

13th Congressional District

Michigan’s redrawn 13th Congressional District is the other district that contains Detroit, along with the Grosse Pointe and Downriver communities. This could be the first time Detroit doesn’t have a Black representative in Congress since 1955.

Shri Thanedar won August’s Democratic primary in a crowded field, strengthened by his millions in ad spending. Thanedar faces Republican opponent Martell Bivings, who has a difficult challenge in the heavily Democratic district if he wishes to continue having Detroit send a Black representative to Congress.

County Board of Commissioners

Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties will all have their board of commissioners seats up for election. Click on your county of residence to find out who’s running.

Wayne County Board of Commissioners

Macomb County Board of Commissioners

Oakland County Board of Commissioners

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