Follow Election 2012 with Michigan Radio

Welcome to Michigan Radio’s coverage page for the 2012 Election.

If you’re looking for more information to help with your decisions, you can read our collection of stories about key races featured below.

You can also check out our Guide to the Ballot Proposals.


News Director Blog
6:20 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Political ads made to sound like news cross a line

Michigan Radio News Director, and Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Chair Vincent Duffy.

I heard a political ad for radio this week that really got me angry.

OK…sure…I’m probably not alone in that.

But I wasn’t angry because I agree or disagreed with the position taken, or because the ad was misleading or an outright fabrication.

I’m used to “pants on fire” statements in political ads and even expect it. 

What bothered me about this particular ad was that it was produced to sound exactly like a news story. A news story that’s close enough to being possible that many listeners could be easily fooled.

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Politics & Government
5:02 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Stateside: Five questions for Tim Martin

Tim Martin, the Lansing reporter for MLive,  joined Stateside to answer five questions facing Michigan voters.

Listen to the above audio to hear Martin address the ballot proposals, the presidential race and the Michigan Senate.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

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Election 2012
3:57 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Voters looking to dodge long lines at polls find hour-long waits in Detroit today

Willie Ann Brown holds ticket E-92. She'd been waiting almost three hours, and elections officials had just started calling the "E's."
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

Some people hoping to avoid long lines tomorrow by voting absentee in person today found themselves waiting hours to cast ballots.

At least that was the story in Detroit, where Willie Ann Brown stood outside the Department of Elections still holding a number after nearly three hours of waiting to get a ballot.

"Actually I've been to two of the satellite locations, and they had, like four hour waits and I have to get to work, so I've been trying get to vote," said Brown. "I'm going to vote."

Michigan does not technically offer early voting, like some states do. But people can vote absentee if they provide a reason they won't be able to vote in-person on Election Day.

Calvin Trent took friends to vote at two locations in Detroit. He says the crowds looking to cast ballots early this election are much bigger than he's seen in previous elections.

"Well, the ballot is so long, and people think they're going to be in line forever tomorrow," said Trent. "So that's why people are trying to vote early."

Detroit voters face 18 proposals on the ballot, including questions from the city, the county and the state.

Election 2012
3:46 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

6 things to know before you head to the polls in Michigan

Election Day is tomorrow.

That means voters should know who the candidates are and where they can find the polls.

Cheat sheets in polling places are allowed (this isn't a test), but political paraphernalia is not allowed inside the polls (so leave your Joseph F. Burke  for 15th District Judge t-shirt at home).

For those who need more information, Michigan Radio has assembled a last minute list of things to know.

Polls open tomorrow, November 6, at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.

1) You can vote even if you don't have an ID

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Election 2012
12:54 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Parties spend millions on 'non-partisan' Michigan Supreme Court races

The Michigan Hall of Justice where the Michigan Supreme Court convenes.
user Jeffness Wikipedia

Even though they are on the non-partisan part of the ballot, the Republican and Democratic parties spend millions of dollars to get their candidates elected to Michigan’s highest court.

Three of the court’s seven seats are up this year.

That means the election will decide whether the court will continue to tilt toward the right under Republican control, or shift to a Democratic majority.

Relatively few people know the candidates running for Michigan’s highest court, but it’s not for a lack of spending by political parties.

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Election 2012
11:52 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Poll: Most in Michigan saying 'no' to ballot proposals

user JaHoVil Flickr

If the latest poll from EPIC MRA is accurate, it appears all the ballot proposals are headed for defeat, though three of them appear close.

There are a lot of undecided voters (18 percent for Proposal 1).

Kelly Sullivan of EPIC MRA says based on past elections results, these voters tend to either vote 'no,' or they tend not to vote at all on the proposal in question.

So that tips the scales even further into the 'no' category for all of the ballot proposals.

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Election 2012
10:35 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Commentary: Something in America has changed

The election is now only four days away, and I’ve been thinking about what will happen afterward.

Earlier this week, I received a nasty phone call from a woman named Bonnie.

She believes President Obama is evil, and a traitor.

She thinks the media are covering up the truth behind the killing of the American ambassador to Libya.

She was also upset that we are covering up the “fact,” as she put it, that President Obama’s family were all Communists.

I told her, in not very polite terms, that was idiotic.

She began screaming and I hung up.

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Election 2012
6:30 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Stateside: Judge O'Brien's case for candidacy

Judge O'Brien is a candidate for Michigan's Supreme Court

Judge Colleen O'Brien, who currently sits on the Oakland County Circuit Court, spoke with Stateside about her candidacy.  

“I practiced law for 17 years and I’m running for the same reason I ran for circuit court. When I practiced law I had the opportunity to appear in the court rooms of many different judges and I would have the same set of facts but I would go to three different counties and get three different decisions. That is not the way our legal system is supposed to work. We need judges that follow the law,” said O’Brien.

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Politics & Government
5:40 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Political Roundup: Power shift in the Michigan House?


Michigan House Representatives are up for election next Tuesday. All 110 seats. Both Houses of the legislature hold Republican majorities, but this election could mark a shift of power in Lansing if Democrats gain more votes. Jennifer White talks with Susan Demas, political analyst with Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants.

Election 2012
5:30 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

What's on your ballot? Election 2012 voting resources

So far over $140 million has been spent by campaigns for and against Michigan's six ballot proposals. That kind of money can pay for a lot of information (or misinformation) in the form of TV ads, phone calls, and mailers.

Thus Michigan voters can be forgiven for losing patience with the process. But that doesn't relieve them of their democratic duties.

Here are a few resources that voters can use to get the basic information they'll need for election day, and if they choose, a little more:

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Politics & Government
4:33 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Bolger-Schmidt complaint dismissed by Michigan Secretary of State

Rep. Roy Schmidt (R-Grand Rapids), and House Speaker Jase Bolger (R- Marshall)

State election officials have dismissed all but one of several complaints filed against state House Speaker Jase Bolger and state Representative Roy Schmidt.

The complaints of illegally using taxpayer resources were filed against the Republican lawmakers by Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer.

Bolger and Schmidt plotted Schmidt's switch to the Republican Party and tried to rig a re-election campaign by recruiting a fake Democrat to run.

More from the Detroit News:

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Politics & Government
7:00 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Collective bargaining rights could be enshrined in Michigan's Constitution

Protesters in Wisconsin's State Capitol in March 2011 after the legislature stripped public sector collective bargaining rights. Activists in Michigan are seeking to enshrine their rights in the state Constitution.
Stan Oleson Fotopedia

Voters in Michigan could make some big changes to the Michigan Constitution on November 6th. They’ll decide on five proposed amendments to Michigan’s guiding legal document.

Proposal 2 would enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state Constitution.

Those supporting Proposal 2 say they’re just trying to protect workers’ rights. Labor unions around the Midwest have been feeling squeezed. The legislature in Wisconsin stripped public sector workers of their collective bargaining rights.

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Election 2012
4:52 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Presidential campaign heats up in Michigan as poll shows race tightening

Obama adviser David Axelrod has promised to shave his mustache should the president lose Michigan.
wikimedia commons

Republicans are hoping to put Michigan's Electoral College votes back in play with $3.7 million worth of TV ad buys in the state as the campaign heads into its final week.

As the Detroit Free Press reports, the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity announced an ad buy of $1.5 million Tuesday, while the Super PAC Restore Our Future has purchased $2.2 million of air time.

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6:13 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Stateside: Contrary to recent ad, Jeep will stay in the U.S.

Romney's recent Jeep ad created a stir of attention
Rebecca Williams

As the year’s Presidential Campaign comes to a close, both parties focus on Chrysler’s future plans concerning Jeep.

In a recent ad, Governor Romney claimed Jeep had plans of moving its production to China, a claim that was soon refuted by the company.

David Shepardson, the Detroit News Washington Bureau Chief, talked to Stateside to help clarify the confusion surrounding the ad. According to Shepardson, the ad acts more as a reflection of the race’s desperation than a document of the auto industry’s future.

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Newsmaker Interview
5:27 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

The politics behind Michigan Supreme Court candidates

On the November 6 ballot you'll find a non-partisan section, along with the names of candidates running for the Michigan Supreme Court. Jennifer White talks with Bridge Magazine correspondent Peter Luke who has taken and in-depth look at how Michigan Supreme Court Justices are elected, and what you should know about the candidates before heading to the polls. Go here to read the full article.

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Election 2012
5:13 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Stateside: Supreme Court Candidate, Bridget Mary McCormack

Supreme Court candidate, Bridget Mary McCormack

Continuing our coverage of Michigan’s Supreme Court race, Cyndy Canty spoke with candidate Bridget Mary McCormack.

McCormack is the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Michigan’s Law School and is also a Clinical Professor of Law.

“I am really committed to the important, independent role the Court plays in our constitutional democracy,” said McCormack.

One of the Supreme Court’s primary functions, says McCormack, is attending to its surrounding community.

“We are providing a legal service to the community,” says McCormack.

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Election 2012
5:01 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Proposal 4 would establish home-help registry; protect workers' right to unionize

Elizabeth Schultz and her caregiver of eight years, Leah Kroll, both of Holland.
Rina Miller Michigan Radio

There’s a debate in Michigan over whether people who provide in-home help to those with disabilities and some elderly should be guaranteed the right to collective bargaining under a Constitutional amendment.

That’s part of what Proposal 4 is about.

Elizabeth Schultz lives in an apartment in Holland with her cat, Kiko.  Schultz is college educated, teaches a class at a community mental health agency and is a deacon at her church.

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It's Just Politics
6:00 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Though you won't find his name on the November ballot, Governor Snyder hits the campaign trail

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics, October 26th, 2012

Next week, with just a week and a half to go before Election Day, Governor Snyder will board a bus to tour the state. The purpose of the trip: to focus attention on the Emergency Manager Law referendum and the five proposed amendments to the state constitution that you’ll find on the November ballot.

The Governor says he’s going all out, “I’m in campaign mode, to be open with you. I’m not running for office, as you know, right now… I’m setting up a schedule to say this is a campaign, because this is a campaign for Michigan’s future.” The governor is calling for a “yes” vote on Proposal One and “no” on the rest. This election has been called a referendum that will determine the success of the rest of his first term.

So, for us political junkies, it raises the question: can a governor, particularly one “in campaign mode,” really push the results of a ballot campaign in one direction or another. Typically, the answer is “no.” It’s often tried but usually a politician’s appeal or popularity does not rub off onto ballot proposals. Though they can gather a bit of media attention at first, endorsements are one of the most overrated political activities. The fact is, campaigns win or lose on the strength of message and organization. So, then, why do politicians engage in endorsements? Well, because politicians work with what they’ve got. A governor still has a platform, and it’s easier to sow seeds of doubt than to sell a ballot question. That’s why the governor is already working on a Plan B for a re-vamped Emergency Manager Law after the election, in case the EM Law is overturned.

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Election 2012
5:41 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Laura Bush to appear at Romney campaign event in Livonia

Laura Bush will address Romney supporters at a volunteer event in Livonia.
Be the Change, Inc. flickr

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has shown a renewed interest in Michigan with recent visits from Chris Christie, Ann Romney, and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

Former first lady Laura Bush looks to be the next in line as she is scheduled to appear at a campaign event this Sunday in Livonia.

The Detroit News has more:

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Election 2012
1:31 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra on "Michigan Calling"

Pete Hoekstra in Studio East at Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio

This morning, former Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra stopped by Michigan Radio's studios to talk with host Rick Pluta and callers from around the state.

Topics covered included energy policy, foreign policy in the Middle East, trade policy with China, and, of course, jobs.

You can listen to the conversation above.

Be sure to listen to last week's conversation with incumbent Debbie Stabenow.

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