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election 2017

City of Flint emblem
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At noon today, the new Flint city council is sworn in. It could signal a change in the city’s long debate over where its tap water should come from.

Last week, Flint voters elected five new people to the city council. They replace five council members who have fought, in court and out, against signing a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.   Flint has been getting its tap water from the authority on a temporary contract since it turned off the tap to the Flint River.

graffiti saying "vote"
Flickr user H2Woah! / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou, and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss some of yesterday's election results.

Grand Rapids bus
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

People who rely on the buses to get around Grand Rapids can be at ease for a while -- 12 years to be exact. 

The transit millage renewal passed tonight. It received more than 22,000 "yes" votes. The initiative won by around 8,200 votes. 

Vote Here sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Below are the election results for the races we're watching here at Michigan Radio.

Please go to your county's election page for more detailed results in your area.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today is Election Day, though less than one-fifth of eligible Michigan residents are likely to vote. Most of all, I am morbidly curious to see whether Detroiters will elect Virgil Smith Jr. to their city council. He’s the former state senator who recently did time after he physically attacked his ex-wife and shot up her car in a residential neighborhood.

There are also a few mostly one-sided mayoral races and a whole bunch of local millage elections. There’s a special election to fill the seat of one Democratic representative who resigned after being convicted of many felonies, and a hotly contested contest in the Upper Peninsula, to replace another state rep who tragically killed himself this spring.

Traffic lights
Thomas Hawk / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

District judges want Gov. Snyder to drop his opposition to bills that would get rid of so-called driver responsibility fees. They say the fees are ruining people's lives because they lose their driver's license if they can't afford to pay them. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about why Gov. Snyder is concerned about the bills.


sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

When voters in South Lyon head to the polls on Tuesday, they're going to see a pretty big empty spot at the top of their ballot.

That's because nobody wanted to run for mayor. Not in time to meet the city's deadline and get on the ballot anyway.

But that doesn't mean voters won't have any choices. 

Seven write-in candidates have stepped up -- they just won't have their names on the ballot.

Logo
flickr user DonkeyHotey / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A year ago, I was talking to Matt Grossman, the pollster and political scientist at Michigan State University. Like most of us, he didn’t expect Donald Trump would win. But he told me that if he did, 2018 would be a horrible year for Michigan Republicans.

Traditionally, the party holding the White House does badly in midterm elections – look at what happened to Democrats in 2010 or Republicans in 2006. On top of that, Michigan Republicans have their own special problems, Flint being only the biggest.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

November 7, Flint voters go to the polls to decide a recall election against the city’s mayor.  But few voters seem interested in learning more about the large field of candidates on the ballot.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next month, Flint voters will decide if they want to recall their mayor.  

The unusually large field of candidates may draw an unusually low number of voters to the polls.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday marks the second anniversary of Flint’s switch back to Detroit water.

October 16th, 2015 was the end of Flint’s experiment with getting its tap water from the Flint River.   

But the ramifications of improperly treated river water continue.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Four weeks from today, Lansing voters will elect the capitol city’s first new mayor in a dozen years.

The next mayor will be a departure in style from the current holder of the office.

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

When you’ve paid attention to politics for a long time, you gradually begin to think you’ve seen it all, or at least some of us did before the rise of Donald Trump.

But one thing we’ve never seen before is so many candidates running so hard for attorney general and secretary of state more than a year before the election.

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker launched a video promoting her candidacy for the Republican nomination for attorney general this week, and Speaker of the House Tom Leonard is expected to run as well. On the Democratic side, lawyer Dana Nessel, hero of Michigan’s same-sex marriage and adoption case, was first to announce for attorney general.

Lansing city hall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A developer is scheduled to be selected to buy Lansing city hall by the end of this week.

Four developers submitted proposals to the city. Mayor Virg Bernero says the winning bidder will be the one that makes the highest and best use of the property.

City of Flint

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver will face a city councilman in November’s recall election.

Scott Kincaid had tried to run both for mayor and for re-election to the city council seat he's held for 32 years. But a judge ruled he couldn’t, and ordered Kincaid to make a choice.

Scott Kincaid announced his choice to run for mayor at a UAW Labor Day rally.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor has dropped her legal challenge to a recall petition intent on ousting her from office.

Mayor Karen Weaver’s attorney signed on to a judge’s order dismissing the mayor’s suit.

Weaver had tried to raise questions about the validity of hundreds of signatures on the recall petition.   In court this week, a handwriting expert questioned whether some people who signed the petition also filled in the date. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

At one point, Circuit Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercut leaned back in his chair and said "Wow."

A court hearing today looking into irregularities with a recall petition against Flint’s mayor seemed to produce more questions about the Flint Police Department.   

asbestos warning sign
ktorbeck / Wikimedia Commons

A new audit this week says Michigan needs more inspectors and more money when it comes to asbestos remediation. According to the report, there are only four inspectors in the entire state to respond to complaints, issue violations and inspect landfills. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about why the program is falling behind. 

A "vote here" sign
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

You may not have noticed, but we had primary elections throughout Michigan yesterday. In many places, however, there was no election at all. This is what politicians call an off-off-year.

There are no races for attention-grabbing offices like governor, senator, or president. What people voted on yesterday was a collection of mostly small millage requests, plus a few primary elections for mayor and council seats in places like Detroit and Flint.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Here are the election results from the races we are following. 

detroit vs everbody t shirt with i voted sticker
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A race that usually flies under the radar is shaping up as one of the more interesting contests in Tuesday’s primary elections.

The race for city clerk in Detroit has drawn more attention, and candidates, than usual this election cycle.

Six candidates are looking to unseat three-term city clerk Janice Winfrey. The top two vote-getters in the primary will advance to the general election this November.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Tuesday’s primary election could set the stage for a revamped Flint city council: 6 of the 9 council members are facing multiple challengers.  The other three will have a challenger in November’s general election.

The Flint city council has struggled with Mayor Karen Weaver and itself in recent years, as the city has slowly moved out from under state oversight.  A panel appointed by the state still has final say on big issues facing the city.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing voters will take a step toward electing a new mayor August 8th. 

On Tuesday, Lansing will hold a mayoral primary election which for the first time in a dozen years will not feature Virg Bernero on the ballot.

Bernero’s decision not to run for re-election this year opened the door to five candidates seeking Lansing’s mayor’s office.

picture of the challenge from Mayor weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is challenging almost a quarter of the signatures that appear on a petition trying to recall her from office.

County and city clerks have certified more than 5,900 signatures on the recall petition targeting Mayor Weaver. That leaves recall backers with a margin of about 200 to get it on the ballot.

But Weaver’s camp filed a formal challenge targeting 1,200 signatures, either for issues with the person who signed the petition or the person who circulated it.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has until the end of the day Monday to challenge signatures on a recall petition against her.  

Opponents started the recall effort after she supported hiring a new company to pick up Flint’s trash.  Last summer, Weaver and Flint City Council fought over retaining Republic Services or hiring Rizzo Environmental Services.  At one time, both companies had trucks rolling down city streets emptying trash cans.  The dispute ended after Mayor Weaver dropped her support for Rizzo.  

Rizzo has since been linked to a federal corruption probe.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

August 8th, primary voters in more than 60 Michigan communities will be using new equipment to cast their ballots.

Fred Woodhams is a spokesman for Michigan’s Secretary of State’s office. He says increasing technical glitches with aging voting machines prompted the change.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint police are investigating allegations some city residents were misled into signing a petition to recall Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.

According to a news release from the Flint Police Department:

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint voters will decide if they want to make changes to their city charter on August 8.

If it passes, it will be the first time the city’s charter will be changed in four decades. A special panel has spent two years designing the 83-page charter update.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Primary voters in Flint, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Lansing are among those casting ballots in the August election. In addition to local municipal elections, there are two special primary elections to fill vacant state house seats in August. 

“You know I think we’re going to be in the 13% to 16% overall turnout range,” says Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope.

Swope says absentee ballots are a growing percentage of the vote in the Capitol City.

Lansing's city hall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s outgoing mayor wants to sell city hall and find a new home for the city's offices.    

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero today formally asked for proposals from businesses interested in turning Lansing City Hall’s downtown location into a hotel, office space, residential units or retail space.  He’s also asking for a plan to relocate city offices elsewhere.

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