Ballot confusion: Two sections for Michigan Supreme Court

Nov 2, 2012

If you're voting in Michigan next Tuesday, you'll be looking at a 'bedsheet ballot' with six statewide ballot proposals, and in all likelihood, several local initiatives as well.

And if you're a conscientious voter, you'll seek out the Supreme Court section of your ballot to pick your favorites.

There's no party affiliation listed, so if you typically vote along party lines you won't be helped here.

The other hitch is that there are two sections for the three seats available in this year's race for the Michigan Supreme Court (see above).

The reason?

  • In the first Supreme Court section on your ballot, you'll pick two people for full eight-year terms on the Court. So seven candidates, two choices...
  • In the second section, you are picking one person to fill the last two years of a term left open when Justice Maura Corrigan left to become the Director of the Department of Human Services. Gov. Snyder appointed Republican Justice Brian Zahra to fill the vacancy, and now he is running to fill the last two years of that term. So three candidates, one choice...

Clear as mud?

Well, it's just par for the course in Michigan where the races for Michigan Supreme Court Justice are not viewed in the best light.

Nearly all candidates agree, as Rick Pluta reported today, that "this is not a campaign they or the voters should feel proud of."

So who's likely to win?

As the Detroit Free Press points out, you have an advantage if you're an Irish women.

In a horse race poll of Supreme Court candidates conducted Oct. 9-10 by Denno Research, an overwhelming majority of Michigan voters said they didn't have any idea who they would be voting for four weeks hence.

Those who did have a pick were inclined to support women with Irish surnames.