Lansing City Clerk estimates low turnout for Tuesday election

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With a key election on the poll Tuesday May 7, Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope is predicting a prove of about 15% of town’s registered voters.

That’s based mostly on the November 2023 election in addition to the pattern with absentee ballots coming again.

Swope tells 6 News he mailed out 17,200 absentee ballots for this election. But simply 43% of these have been returned, leaving “9800 ballots still outstanding.” Voters can nonetheless return their poll Tuesday – or throughout early voting, and feed it right into a tabulator themselves.

Voting booths are seen at a polling station at Langley High School in McLean, Va., on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Greg Nash/The Hill)Voting booths are seen at a polling station at Langley High School in McLean, Va., on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Greg Nash/The Hill)

Voting cubicles are seen at a polling station at Langley High School in McLean, Va., on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Greg Nash/The Hill)

He says his workplace has begun processing a number of the returned ballots, which a brand new state regulation permits, and his crew have begun to search out messages from the voters.

“We had a couple of them, of voters, including notes with their ballots saying they didn’t know any of the candidates and they didn’t understand what it was they were voting on,” Swope tells 6 News. “So, I think the high number of ballots that have not been returned is reflective of that. Voters, you know, just this being such a unique thing to elect a Charter Commission and the fact of having 36 candidates to weed through, to select up to 9 candidates, I think for a lot of voters it’s just a little bit more time than they’re willing to dedicate.”

Lansing voters in November voted to revisit town’s constitution, which Swope in comparison with the municipality’s structure. The doc proscribes the formation and operation of the federal government.

Lansing City Council earlier this 12 months accredited a finances modification for $500,000 for the fee’s operations, together with doable particular elections. The 9 members elected Tuesday may have by November 2026 to current a brand new metropolis constitution to voters. If voters reject the proposed new constitution, the fee might come again with another choice, or go away the present constitution in place.

Swope says the constitution was adopted within the mid-70’s and voters haven’t opted to rewrite it till now.

When polls shut Tuesday night time, Swope anticipates 15% of town’s registered voters may have solid ballots. In November, when voters accredited the fee and new metropolis councilmembers, prove was 16.3% of registered voters.

There are two dueling slates of candidates working within the race – accounting for half of the 36 candidates.

A slate backed by labor teams and the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce is made up of:

  • Stephen Purchase

  • Ben Dowd

  • Joan Bauer

  • Muhammad Qawwee

  • Elizabeth Driscoll Boyd

  • Brian Jeffries

  • Miranda Swartz

  • Keith Williams

  • Guillermo Lopez

That slate is backed by the Chamber and these labor teams:

  • Capital City Labor Program (Lansing Police Officers Union)

  • IAFF Local 421 (Lansing Firefighters)

  • Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 333

  • IBEW Local 665

  • IBEW Local 352

  • UAW Local 2256

  • Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce

  • Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters & MillwrightsMichigan

  • Building Trades Council

  • Michigan Laborers Local 499

  • Painters IUPAT DC1M

  • Operating Engineers Local 324

Steve Japinga is vice chairman of public affairs for the Chamber. When 6 News shared Swope’s evaluation of the prove, his first response was, “Wow.”

“This is a serious process this committee is going to go through,” he says. “That is a concern.”

Samuel Klahn is among the 9 members of the Lansing Community Alliance. This slate fashioned, partly, as protest over what Klahn says was a disingenuous endorsement course of by the Chamber and labor unions.

That slate is made up of the next candidates:

  • Samuel Klahn

  • Heath Lowry

  • Randy Dykhuis

  • Layna Anderson

  • Jazmin Anderson

  • Erica Lynn

  • Ross Yednock

  • Julie Vandeboom

  • Jerry Norris

Klahn says the returned ballots and anticipated 15% prove is “what everybody expected.”

He says his slate has been telling voters, “Even if you don’t vote for me, please go out and vote.”

Elizabeth Driscoll Boyd made a profession working for two Secretaries of State in Michigan, in addition to for former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. She says voting is necessary to her. But the turnout was an issue for her.

“Does it offend me? Does it surprise me? That people have not voted?” she asks. “Kind of.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WLNS 6 News.

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