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Election 2016

Here you'll find the latest election coverage from Michigan Radio. Scroll below for information and stories. 

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An ethics watchdog organization is asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate a Twitter battle that broke out between Michigan Congressman Justin Amash and White House staffer Dan Scavino. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the group's allegations that Amash violated House rules and Scavino violated the Hatch Act

They also discuss a study that shows an increasingly bleak future for Michigan roads and bridges, legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients, and a report that says roughly $40 million was spent on the state's 14 congressional races in 2016. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds roughly $40 million was spent on Michigan’s 14 Congressional races in 2016.  $9.4 million was spent in just one Michigan Congressional race, the battle for the formally vacant seat representing the U.P. and northern Michigan.

“That’s a large sum of money considering the fact that really none of these 14 Congressional races were that close in Michigan in 2016,” says Craig Mauger, the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report is raising questions about transparency in Michigan Supreme Court elections.

Craig Mauger is with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. He says in 2016 so-called "dark money" helped the two Republican incumbents outspend their Democratic challengers by more than 30 to one.

(Support trusted journalism like this in Michigan. Give what you can here.)

In elections, it’s all about who shows up.

And last year, Democrats didn’t.

The Democrats’ historic loss in Michigan is due pretty much to the fact that too many voters who would typically vote Democratic simply sat out Election 2016. While Republicans, true to form, showed up at the polls.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow is glad U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week recused himself from any future probes involving the possible Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election.

Sessions failed to disclose two meetings with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the campaign.  Sessions insists the discussions did not involve the Trump campaign. 

Stabenow believes an investigation is warranted into possible links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s top 150 Political Action Committees raised a record amount during the 2016 presidential election cycle.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network crunched the numbers and found Michigan’s largest PAC’s raised more than $48 million in 2015 and 2016. That's an increase of seven million dollars over the previous record set in the 2008 presidential election.

Executive director Craig Mauger says that well outpaced the rate of inflation.

Well, Happy Valentine’s Day.

I hope you've gotten far more important greetings from someone close to you.

Love is important.

But sometimes, you have to learn how and when to let someone, or something go. I’ve finally accepted that Laura Ingalls Wilder is not going to come back from the dead and marry me.

And in the same vein, it's time for those who think the last presidential election was stolen to give it up. That may sound like an odd thing to say at this point.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A record amount of money was spent in 2016 on Michigan state House races.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network combed through spending reports and other sources to determine $27 million was spent on House campaigns last year.   The previous record was $25.4 million in 2014. 

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s elections chief says it appears there were 31 instances of people casting two ballots in the 2016 election, but it doesn’t seem to have changed any results. That was the finding of audits of the election results, as well as a separate inquiry into ballot irregularities in Detroit.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

National Democratic Party leaders will gather in Detroit today to discuss the party’s future direction.

Party leaders are still assessing their setbacks from the 2016 election, and looking ahead to 2018 and beyond.

The forum will feature several candidates for the party’s open chairman seat. Among them is Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana

He thinks the party needs a fresh start, by focusing more attention on local and state-level politics.

Caleb Pluta

State officials say any federal investigation will not turn up widespread vote fraud in Michigan, despite unsubstantiated accusations by President Trump that millions of people voted illegally.

President Trump says illegal voting kept him from winning the popular vote, but there’s no evidence of that. State officials – who are also Republicans – say that’s certainly not true in Michigan.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Several students worked diligently on signs and hats to carry and wear in Saturday's Women's March on Lansing. It's a sister march to a larger event happening in Washington, D.C.

Clinton Steeds / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

It’s said necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Innovation is often born out of crisis or conflict – a war, a pandemic or a financial crash.  Sometimes the conflict can be constructive, like the invention of a new miracle drug. And sometimes the conflict can be destructive, like, for instance, a contentious election.

A Minute with Mike
Vic Reyes

Hello, my fellow Michiganeers, it’s your friendly neighbor-radio hood Mike Blank. Just in case you’ve been trapped in an abandoned copper mine in the Upper Peninsula since November and you haven’t heard, we’re about to get a new president.

I try not to focus on political issues during our brief time together. However, the one thing that stood out about this election to me was the staggering number of people who did not vote. Roughly 47% of registered voters stayed away from their local school gymnasium, church, or community center on Election Day. And it wasn’t because of the funky smell.

VoteBusuitoWSU.com

On Jan. 20, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as our 45th President of the United States.  The election was one of the most contentious in recent memory and has exposed or inflamed serious divisions in American society. All this week on Stateside, we’ll speak with Michiganders who were drawn to the President-elect’s message about their hopes for the new administration.

The inauguration of Donald Trump as our 45th President is Friday. Stateside has been speaking with people in Michigan who supported the President-elect.

Dr. Michael Busuito is a plastic surgeon who was just elected to the Wayne State Board of Governors.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lake Superior State University’s annual list of "banned words and phrases" is heavy with contributions linked to the 2016 presidential campaign.    

LSSU has been turning out its year-end tongue-in-cheek list of overused words and phrases for 42 years.

University spokesman John Shibley says it’s not surprising people from across the country turned to bruising election rhetoric for words and phrases that have been so overused they should be banned. 

The Michigan Capitol in Lansing.
Matt Katzenberger / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Electors gathered today at their state capitols to formalize Donald Trump's election to the presidency. As expected, Michigan's 16 electors cast their votes for Donald Trump.

In the days leading up to today's vote, however, electors endured intense pressure from people around the country to vote against the President-Elect.

“They’ve been getting letters, lots of them, in the mail and emails,” said Detroit News Lansing reporter Chad Livengood. “One elector I talked to – Wyckham Seelig from the Ann Arbor area – he got over 62,000 emails over the last five weeks from people across the country trying to get him to change his vote and buck Donald Trump.”

A lot of attention is being paid today to the usually almost-anonymous job of being a presidential elector.

This afternoon at the state Capitol, in the state Senate chamber, Michigan’s 16 votes for president will be cast by presidential electors - one vote for every congressional district in the state, plus two at-large electors.

It’s a little-noted honor to be an elector. Typically, it’s held for party stalwarts looking to be a footnote to history.

picture of donald trump
DONALDJTRUMP.COM

DETROIT - Electors in Michigan are in line to obey state law and vote for Republican President-elect Donald Trump.

The state requires the 16 members of the Electoral College convening Monday at the statehouse to vote according to the results of the Michigan's presidential election, which Trump won by .2 percentage points. Still, electors surveyed by The Associated Press say they support him regardless.

Elector Joseph Guzman, a Michigan State University assistant professor, says Trump is "my candidate," and he would vote for him even "if there were no rules."

A full Senate vote on Besty DeVos' U.S. education secretary nomination is expected next week.
BetsyDeVos.com

When Donald Trump announced West Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos as his pick for Secretary of Education, reaction was mixed. Many wondered aloud how someone who has advocated for major changes in education, but who has never taught, would be qualified for the post. 

Recent secretaries have included a former Governor, the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, a former college dean and school superintendent and others with doctorates in education. Virtually every piece written about the nomination of Betsy DeVos describes her along the lines of as a "Michigan philanthropist" or a "leading Republican donor". 

Others think at least a part of the answer as to why she was nominated for this post lies in the deep pockets of the DeVos family.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

After a lot of back and forth in the courtroom, a federal judge halted the presidential ballot recount in Michigan last week before it was finished.

For This Week in Michigan PoliticsMorning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about what we've learned from the recount process and whether state law makes it harder to recount precincts most likely to need a recount.

They also talk about a couple of bills from this year's lame duck agenda.

One of the bills would've tightened up voter identification laws, but the Senate plans to adjourn for the year without taking it up. The other, which won approval from the Legislature, will provide some compensation to people who've been wrongfully convicted and incarcerated.  

 

Ballots
flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The presidential election recount in Michigan may be over, but state election officials aren't done yet. They are  planning an audit of about 20 Detroit polling places.

During the short-lived recount, the Michigan Bureau of Elections discovered a number of places where the number of ballots in the recount containers didn’t match the reported number of voters.

Now about 20 polling places in the city will be audited. 

Rick Pluta / MPRN

The ballot recount in Michigan is over. This time, it’s for good.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and Michigan Radio senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry take a look at the short-lived recount and some of the problems it exposed at the polls, particularly in Detroit. They also look at a bill that would make it legal to hunt wolves in Michigan if the bill makes it through this year’s lame duck session in Lansing.


people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court has shut down the last legal avenue to re-starting the statewide recount of presidential election ballots.

In a three-to-two decision, the court denied the appeal filed by Green Party nominee Jill Stein. She was trying to get an order to resume the recount after it was stopped by a lower court. 

Joe Brusky / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

On Nov. 30, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested a recount of votes in Michigan. That request was the beginning of a frantic week of legal battles as county clerks rallied staff and resources to undertake the recount.

But now the statewide recount appears to be over after the ruling that came from Federal Judge Mark Goldsmith last night. He lifted the restraining order that triggered Monday’s start to the recount. The Board of State Canvassers then canceled its meeting earlier today.

Though the recount effort seems to have reached its limit, Stein said not yet.

JOHN AUCHTER / AUCHTOON.COM

In writing these little "support" articles for my cartoons over the years, more than a few readers have made a point of telling me how much they hate having the cartoon "explained" to them.

They feel the cartoon should stand on its own, and it definitely should. I get that. My intention is not to explain the cartoon but to add context to the subject, present a counter-view, or provide bonus value.

However, if you are one of those readers, you might want to move on, because I'm gonna straight-up explain this one.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

We followed the twists, turns, and drama surrounding Michigan's presidential recount. Green Party candidate Jill Stein requested the recount in Michigan (and in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) after stories circulated about the need for a robust auditing system of elections in the U.S. (Read more about that here.)

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The legal battles over the statewide recount of Michigan's presidential election results have been raging.

At the same time, another story is clearly emerging: Precincts that cannot be recounted because of Michigan's recount law, which dates back to 1954.

Ballots
flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

More courtroom drama tomorrow is expected as Michigan Republicans and the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump continue try to shut down the statewide ballot recount.

The recount was requested by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. But Republicans say, with one percent of the vote, Stein has no chance of winning in the end, and so has no right to demand a recount.

The Michigan Court of Appeals agreed.

But state Elections Director Chris Thomas says he won’t stop the recount without the OK from the federal judge who said it should go forward.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The vote recount continues in Michigan, even as State Attorney General Bill Schuette and the campaign of president-elect Trump keep pushing forth with challenges to that recount.

Recounting began Monday in Oakland and Ingham Counties. Wayne County began today.

And there's a growing awareness of technical problems, coupled with possible human error, adding up to precincts that cannot be recounted under Michigan law.

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