On Tuesday, Aug. 4, Michiganders will head to the polls to vote in Democratic and Republican primaries for county executives, prosecutor and sheriff races. There will also be local proposals and a major Congressional primary on some ballots as well.
Voters are being encouraged to cast an absentee ballot due to concerns of spreading the novel coronavirus. See key information on voting below, including proposals that 101.9 WDET’s newsroom is currently reporting. This article will be updated as we publish reporting.
How to vote absentee for Aug. 4th elections
- Friday July 31st is the last day you can request to have an absentee voter ballot mailed to you. Your application must be received by your clerk no later than 5 p.m. on this day.
Vote on Aug. 4th from 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
What’s on the ballot?
Here are the key races 101.9 WDET’s reporters will be following in advance of the election, with links to interviews and non-partisan Ballotpedia profiles. This list is not comprehensive, but a reflection of our newsroom reporting.
- 8th Congressional District (Republican): Mike Detmer, Alan T. Hoover, Paul Junge, Kristina Lyke
- 9th Congressional District (Republican): Gabi Grossbard, Charles J. Langworthy
- 10th Congressional District (Democratic): Kimberly Bizon, Kelly Noland
- 10th Congressional District (Republican): Shane Hernandez, Lisa McClain, Doug Slocum
- 11th Congressional District (Republican): Frank Acosta, Kerry Bentivolio, Eric S. Esshaki, Carmelita Greco, Whittney Williams
- 12th Congressional District (Democratic): Incumbent Rep. Debbie Dingell vs. Solomon Rajput
- 13th Congressional District (Republican): David Dudenhoefer, Al Lemmo, Linda Sayer (information unavailable)
- 13th Congressional District (Democratic): Incumbent Rep. Rashida Tlaib vs. Brenda Jones
- 14th Congressional District (Democratic): Incumbent Rep. Brenda Lawrence vs. Terrance Morrison
- 14th Congressional District (Republican): Daryle Houston, Robert Vance Patrick
- Oakland County Executive (Democratic): Incumbent Dave Coulter vs. Andy Meisner
- Oakland County Executive (Republican): Mike Kowall vs. Jeffrey G. Nutt (information unavailable)
- Oakland County Prosecutor (Democratic): Incumbent Jessica Cooper (information unavailable) vs. Karen McDonald
- Wayne County Prosecutor (Democratic): Incumbent Kym Worthy vs. Victoria Burton-Harris
- Wayne County Sheriff: Incumbent Benny N. Napoleon, Charles Corley II (information unavailable), T. P. Nykoriak
- Wayne County Treasurer: Incumbent Eric Sabree, Angelo S. Brown, Beverly Kindle-Walker
- Macomb County Sheriff (Republican): Terrance Mekoski, Michael Wrathell (information unavailable on candidates)
- Macomb County Clerk (Republican): Anthony Forlini, Daniel Joseph Russell, Jackie Ryan, Julie Williams
- Macomb County Treasurer (Republican): Incumbent Larry Rocca, Sherry Murphy, Erin Stahl (information unavailable on candidates)
- Prop O Millage (Wayne): A proposition to renew for 10 years a property tax levy of $95.29 per $100,000 in assessed property tax value for county operations.
- Prop P Parks Millage (Wayne): A proposition to renew for four years a property tax levy of $24.59 per $100,000 in assessed property tax value for parks.
That revenue would go towards the upkeep of Hines, Elizabeth, and Chandler parks, reports WDET’s Alex McLenon. Officials say the money earmarked for Chandler Park would go strictly towards the Wayne County Family Aquatic Center. Alisha Bell, Chair of the Wayne County Commission, says the millage also allows commissioners to commit funds to parks in their own districts. “I’ve been able to allocate some basketball [courts], picnic tables, grills, and park equipment for children to play on,” says Bell.
- Detroit Public Schools millage: Voters in Detroit are being asked to renew a non-homestead millage at 18 mills that would pay off debt owed by the old Detroit Public School district. The state pays the currently operating Detroit Public Schools Community District the same amount it collects.
“If you are a homeowner in Detroit, and you live in the home, then you don’t pay this tax. This tax is only paid by the business community and homeowners that rent out their property,” says DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti. “If this is not passed over a number of different ballots, then the State of Michigan can impose a homestead tax.”
- Hamtramck Schools Millage (Wayne): The Hamtramck Public School 30-year bond proposal aims to enhance the safety and security for students while adding much needed infrastructure updates as well. If approved “the property tax rate in the city will increase by 7 mills and the Hamtramck School District will borrow $35,265,000 from a special low interest fund set up by the state,” reports the Arab American News.
“We have many buildings that are beautiful historic structures but were designed and constructed before air conditioning was a reality and before our climate continues to warm to the degree where it is now,” Evan Major, Hamtramck school board president tells WDET’s Tia Graham. “The air conditioning upgrades alone are in the neighborhood of 6 million dollars and that’s not even taking in consideration the construction of a new school building.”
What precautions are being taken at polls?
WDET’s Laura Herberg reports on safety measures being enacted for in-person voting on Aug. 4th.
- Some poll workers are undergoing testing in advance and temperature checks the day of.
- Social distancing stickers will be placed to space out voters.
- Poll workers will be wearing face masks, in some cases gloves and there will be screens and extra sanitation at voting booths.
- Masks are not being required for voters.
When will election results be known?
High rates of absentee ballots that, by law, are not allowed to be processed until the morning of election day means that returns could take days to count, reports WDET’s Laura Herberg.
“We have already seen more than 1.7 million absentee ballot requests for the August 4 primary, which is more than 350% more than the same time in 2016, our previous presidential election year,” says Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
This increase is causing some local clerks to worry about how long it will take for them to count ballots on Election Day.
“How do we count those all in one day? And the short answer is we don’t,” says Canton clerk, Michael Siegrist. “There’s no humane way to do that for these precinct inspectors.”