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Michigan Aug. 4th Election: Congressional, County Primaries In Wayne, Oakland, Macomb

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Image credit: Shiraz Ahmed / WDET

Here are the major party primaries WDET staff is tracking on your ballot. See something missing? Drop us a tip below.

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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. 

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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.
  • Monday August 3rd is the last day that you can pick up an absentee voter ballot at your local clerk’s office if you’re already registered to vote at your current address. You have to make it in before 4 p.m. Since we’re in a pandemic, you may want to check with your local clerk ahead of time to make sure this is even an option right now.
  • Tuesday August 4th (Election Day) is the last day you can request an absentee voter ballot if you go into your local clerk’s office to register to vote or to update your address. If you decide to go with this method, and you go in on August 3rd or Election Day, you’ll have to vote right there in the clerk’s office. Again, since we’re in a pandemic it’s probably best that you call ahead to make sure your clerk’s office will be open.

Find more information on absentee voting here.


Vote on Aug. 4th from 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

Check if you’re registered to vote and see your ballot.

Find out how to register to vote here and identify your local clerk.


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.

Congressional Primaries

County Primaries

Propositions

  • 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.”

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Shiraz Ahmed, Digital and Audience Engagement Editor

Shiraz Ahmed is Digital and Audience Engagement Editor for 101.9 WDET, overseeing all content posted on wdet.com. His favorite salsa is Marco’s Mexican salsa, a now-defunct chain that produced the salsa of his childhood.


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