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Election 2016

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

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine speaking earlier this year.
U.S. Department of Education

Virginia Senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine spoke to hundreds of labor union members and their families in Warren on Sunday.

Kaine told the crowd that Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will fight for a strong labor force.

Kaine says despite the polls being in the Democrats’ favor, people still need to get out and vote.

“Polls are looking OK. We feel good about where we are, we would rather be us than them,” Kaine said, “but you can’t take anything for granted.”

Last Sunday, a warm and witty elderly gentleman I knew named Lloyd Strausz was in the process of planning his 99th birthday party, and decided to take a nap.

Unfortunately, he never woke up. Later, at the Shiva celebration of his life in his daughter’s home, I said I thought it was too bad that Lloyd, who had cast his first presidential vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt, had missed one final election.

But he did vote, I was told. He had sent in his absentee ballot days before. He is now that stuff of legends – an actual dead voter, though in this case, a legitimate one.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Update:  A federal judge's order that would have prevented Michigan from enforcing a state law to keep voters from taking photos of their ballot in the Nov. 8 election has been overturned. So for now, no ballot selfies on election day.

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and I talk about the state's push to try and re-instate a ban on voters taking “selfies” with their ballots. We also discuss Gov. Rick Snyder's veto of legislation to overhaul Medicaid and the legacy of Tom Hayden in today's tumultuous political climate.


Campaign signs stacked against a wall in a union office.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Political parties are gearing up their “get-out-the-vote” efforts as the 2016 election enters its final days.

Unions have been a critical part of the Democratic Party’s get out the vote efforts for decades. This past week, union leaders held a get out the vote rally in Flint.

Becky Pringle is the vice president of the National Education Association. She says “they have work to do” convincing union families to support Hillary Clinton.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson spoke to a small but enthusiastic crowd in Detroit last night.

“Don’t vote for Trump ... Don’t vote for Clinton,” shouted Johnson to several hundred supporters gathered at Cobo Center.  

The crowd cheered Johnson’s calls for eliminating the U.S. Department of Education, dismantling the Department of Homeland Security and pardoning Edward Snowden. 

Before the rally, Gary Johnson told reporters his “small government” message is “resonating” with voters --  at least the ones his campaign is able to reach.

Gretchen Driskell
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 

The race for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District is one of the most competitive in the country. The two major-party candidates have both raised more than $2 million for their campaigns.

Gretchen Driskell, a former seven-term mayor of Saline and the a current member of the Michigan House of Representatives, is the challenger in the race. And although she’s running as a Democrat, she considers herself an independent.

Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Many of us can’t wait for this election year to be over. We’ve seen a lot of things we’ve never seen before, and little of it has been good.

That’s not limited to the presidential race. It’s happening all over Michigan in races for the state House of Representatives.

Mike Jackson feels that Proposal A could make Detroit less attractive to developers.
flickr user Ken Lund / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Detroiters will find two community benefits proposals on the ballot this Election Day.

A CBO would require developers who get public support for their projects, like tax breaks, to provide certain benefits to the community.

Volunteers learn the ropes of poll watching during a meeting this week in Flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Training is underway this week in Michigan for people planning to be poll watchers during next month’s election.

Complaints of rigged voting and voter intimidation have spurred people to volunteer as poll watchers.

Downtown Eaton Rapids, in Michigan's 7th Congressional District, a race that's become one of the most expensive in the state.
Jodi Westrick/Michigan Radio

So you’re flipping around TV one night, and this campaign ad comes up:

 “Walberg DID vote yes on every trade deal. And just last year, he voted to give Obama enhanced power to negotiate T.P.P.” 

Frank Szymanski likes to startle audiences by asking, “Have you ever seen a naked trial judge?” after which he takes off his suit coat and flings it on a chair.

“Don’t worry, I’m going to stop there,” he tells them.

“But if you don’t educate yourselves before you go into that voting booth, if you don’t know who I and Judge Deborah Thomas are, we might as well be naked. You need to know that we are both circuit court judges, we care about kids, that we care about justice for everyone, and that we were nominated by the Democratic Party for the Michigan Supreme Court.”


Balloons drop at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
PBS NewsHour / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In big election years like this one, the two major parties typically host election night parties where candidates and party officials gather to hopefully celebrate their victories.

But this year, there will be no big party for the Michigan Republican Party. 

More from Chad Livengood of the Detroit News:

Gretchen Driskell got into politics by accident twenty-some years ago, when she was home with a toddler and a neighbor knocked on her door.

He was running for city council and wanted her support; she was an accountant and an MBA who had taken a few years off to raise her three kids, and was happy to talk to another adult.

“This whole election, it’s being rigged.” That’s the message coming from Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. And, there are certainly some Trump supporters who believe it.

But, is there any truth to that claim? Can an election be rigged the way Trump seems to be suggesting?

Courtesy of Michael Ford

 


The upcoming election will give voters a chance to decide whether or not they’re willing to pay for the future plans of the Regional Transit Authority.

Voters in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw Counties must approve or reject a $1.2 million-per-year increase on their property tax bills. For a house assessed at $100,000, that works out to $120 a year.

We asked Michigan candidates running for Congress these 4 questions

Oct 24, 2016
Map of Michigan's congressional districts. Red highlighted districts are currently represented by a Republican while blue highlighted districts are currently represented by a Democrat.
Bryce Huffman / CartoDB.com

All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election on November 8th. Michigan holds 14 of those seats (at one time, Michigan held 19 seats in the House). Each congressional district has a population of approximately 710,000 people, according to the U.S. Census.

See the map below for the current makeup of Michigan's congressional districts. Hover over your area to see what district you live in, and click on your district to see who is running.

Money
Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / Creative Commons

If you’re completely sick of everybody in Washington by now, and find yourself thinking "I literally could do a better job than any of those folks in Congress," then you're going to need at least $2 million.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s little more than two weeks left before the November 8 election.

Recent polls have shown Democrat Hillary Clinton holding a double-digit lead in Michigan.

Stephen Neuman is the senior adviser for the Michigan coordinated campaign. 

He says they are now looking to use those poll numbers to help Democrats down the ballot.

“We are working to include targeted House races, both targeted state House and congressional races, on the various scripts we use both on the phones and at the doors,” says Neuman.

FLICKR USER MATT PICIO / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Next month, voters in four southeastern counties will decide if they want to pay a new tax to fund a regional public transportation plan.

The 20-year transit millage will generate about $3 billion to pay for expanded bus service and light-rail train connections. The 1.2 mill tax rate would cost the average taxpayer about $120 annually.

Ned Staebler is with ‘Citizens for Connecting our Communities”. He says the campaign is stepping up its efforts in the final weeks before the election.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

The last presidential debate is over, and a light is starting to appear at the end of the election season tunnel. This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and I talk about whether we'll see much more campaign action in Michigan before voters cast their ballots. We also discuss the ousting of the state Republican Party's grassroots chair over her refusal to back Donald Trump, and a big step toward financial health in Wayne County.


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next month, voters in Traverse City will decide if they should have a say whether there will be taller buildings in town.

The proposed charter change on the November 8th ballot would require a public vote on plans for buildings taller than 60 feet.

Jay Zelenock is with the group Save Our Downtown.  He says they are not opposed to new tall buildings.  But Zelenock says people in Traverse City are worried about the aesthetic of their community.  He also worries about tax breaks given to developers.

Map showing the top 100 travel patterns based on trips taken in 2010.
RTA of Southeast Michigan

In the November election, voters in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties must vote on whether to approve a tax that would fund new transportation between the four counties. 

When you walk into the voting booth, this is the language you will see on your ballot.

Some of you may already know exactly how you're voting, but for those of you looking for more information about the proposal, we've got you covered.

What transportation is being proposed

President Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is putting members of his own party in Michigan in a tough spot. With slumping poll numbers, there are some concerns that he could have a negative impact on down-ballot races in the Great Lakes State.

With Trump at the top of the ticket, what is the state of the Michigan Republican Party? There's party infighting, concerns about possibly losing the state House in November, and some candidates simply refusing to endorse or even answer questions about their party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump. 

WWW.MICHIGANDEMS.COM/LON

Taking up more than 25,000 square miles, Michigan's 1st Congressional District is the biggest in the state. It makes up the entire Upper Peninsula and much of the upper part of the Lower Peninsula. It represents almost half of the state's total land area, but only represents roughly 700,000 people. 

The congressional race in Michigan's 1st has become a tight one as former Democratic Chairperson Lon Johnson is running against retired three-star U.S. Marine general Jack Bergman. Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry called it Michigan's hottest Congressional race.

Johnson brings a wealth of connections from his days as the party's chair, but will face an uphill climb in a district that historically leans Republican. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In the days leading up to last night's third and final presidential debate, a question was put to key members of Donald Trump's team: Would he support the results of the election?

Running mate Mike Pence, daughter Ivanka Trump and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway all said yes, Trump would uphold the results.

That echoed what Trump himself said in the first debate when moderator Lester Holt asked him the same question.

“I’m going to be able to do it,” Trump said. “I don’t believe Hillary will. The answer is if she wins, I will absolutely support her.”

NPR.org

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton faced off in the final presidential debate on Wednesday night at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The debate followed the same format as the first presidential debate.

It was divided into six segments of around 15 minutes each on major topics selected by the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News.

Wallace announced those topics last week. They were:

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

On Monday night, Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team hit the road again for the second Issues & Ale election preview event of the season.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrats and Republicans are spending heavily on TV ad buys to sway voters in a handful of state house elections.

Democrats need to win 9 seats currently held by Republicans next month to take control of the state house.    

Ajamu Baraka at Wayne State University.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It’s time to reject the “politics of fear,” and embrace third-party alternatives in American politics.

That was the message Ajamu Baraka had for an audience at Detroit’s Wayne State University on Tuesday.

Baraka, a longtime political activist who founded the U.S. Human Rights Network, is the Green Party candidate for vice president. He and running mate Jill Stein will appear on the ballot in 45 states, including Michigan.

Baraka says he and Stein represent an opportunity to “break the two-party monopoly” on government.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine in Detroit.
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

Senator Tim Kaine was in Detroit today. The running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke at the non-profit Focus: HOPE.

Kaine’s speech was mostly focused on Clinton’s plans for the economy and working to end poverty.

Part of Clinton and Kaine’s plan, he says, is to increase skilled and technical jobs. Kaine says it is especially important in places like Detroit.

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