Only 26% of registered voters in Alpena County cast ballots last week

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz The Alpena County Board of Canvassers tallies votes from the presidential primary election in Alpena County on Tuesday. The board met on Wednesday to certify the election.

ALPENA — Preliminary election data from last week’s presidential primary shows that voters in Alpena County prefer to vote in person and 10% of voters who chose a Democratic ballot are still up in the air on who they want to become president.

Overall, turnout was light compared to the expected larger primary election that is held in August and the presidential election in November.

According to election data, 26.37% of the 26,957 registered voters in Alpena County cast ballots last week.

The breakdown of how people chose to cast their vote was significant, as 17% voted in person, 8.27% submitted absentee ballots, and only 1.10% utilized the new early voting system.

Those percentages are from the registered voters total and not the turnout percentage.

This was the first election in Northeast Michigan where early voting was offered, after voters approved a state-wide proposal in 2022 that amended the state’s constitution to allow it.

In Alpena County, Alpena had the lowest percentage of turnout, as only about 25% of the registered voters filled out ballots, while Alpena Township had the strongest showing with nearly 32% of voters participating that featured little on the ballot.

In Alpena County, the race for the presidential nominees mirrored results from the previous primary elections in the United States so far.

Former president Donald Trump easily defeated his fellow Republicans on the ballot, most of whom had dropped out of the race before the election.

President Joe Biden lapped the field of candidates in the Democrat party, as he earned 1,711 votes, but in Alpena County, there were a whopping 248 voters who took Democrat ballots that voted uncommitted.

By compassion, there were only 129 Republican voters who cast an uncommitted vote.

Statewide, more than 100,000 Democratic presidential primary voters, 13.3 percent, were uncommitted. According to Michigan election data, only about 20% cast uncommitted ballots during the last several presidential primaries.

A campaign launched by some elected Democratic officials urged voters in Michigan to vote uncommitted in protest to Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza. That campaign likely helped bolster the uncommitted tally, but it is unknown if there will be any impact in November.

By comparison, there were 33,365 uncommitted votes counted in Michigan from people who voted Republican, far less than Biden, but much more than averages from other presidential primary elections.

During the 2020 presidential primary in Michigan, there were 28,485 uncommitted votes from Republican voters.


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