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Election day

August 5, 2008 - Steve Murch
While it’s difficult to gauge voter turnout based solely on the time you vote, I’m not encouraged (nor discouraged yet) by my voting number this morning. I generally vote around the same time each election and this year was the lowest number I’ve ever been that I can recall.

My precinct is at the Presbyterian Church. In the past when I’ve voted my ballot number has usually been somewhere between 135 and 150. Today it was 94. Again, I generally vote within a half-hour of the same time every election.

You can’t read a lot into that, but then again ...

There is so much focus on the historic presidential election, that some people have forgotten how important local elections are. This year in Alpena we vote on a circuit court judge who will be someone new in years; the 106th state House seat is changing hands due to term limits; and, there are millage issues.

August is an important part of the election cycle. Secretary of State Teri Lynn Land estimated about 20 percent of registered voters will take part in the today’s primary. It’s been estimated 15 percent in the city of Detroit, which I guess means the rest of the state will be quite a bit better. Northeast Michigan traditionally has a decent turnout for the primary compared to the rest of the state.

I hope that those who generally vote early were busy this morning, or I just got a jump on them. Every election is important and it’s a shame that too many just don’t care. There are some people who will say they don’t want uninformed voters turning out just for one candidate or one issue. I say the more people participating the more people who are taking an interest and expressing they care about someone or something that affects all of us.


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