MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Michigan voters are going to the polls today, casting their ballots in the presidential primary but also deciding on local issues.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. You can find your polling place and view a sample ballot by visiting the Michigan Secretary of State’s Voter Information Center website.
You don’t need to show photo identification to vote, but it does speed up the process, so the SoS advises you bring your ID.
A poll taken last week and released Monday showed former Vice President Joe Biden had a more than 20-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, but that was before Sanders spent the weekend in the state holding rallies. Sanders beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Michigan’s 2016 presidential primary.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is also still in the race. Additionally, you may see names of candidates who have dropped out on your ballot.
A few other states have primaries today but Michigan is the top prize with 125 delegates.
ABSENTEE VOTING UP
Absentee voting across the state has just about doubled over the 2016 primary since Michigan after Michigan recently instituted no-reason absentee voting. The state says the flood of absentee ballots could slow down the counting process, leading to later results than in years past.
Ahead of this election, Kent County Election Director Gerrid Uzarski says they’ve seen an increase in those electing to vote absentee by nearly 120%.
“Now there’s really no excuse. If you want to avoid the precinct you can, anybody can get an absentee voter ballot,” Uzarski said. “That’s a serious convenience for the voter and a lot of people are taking advantage of that.”
VOTING IN THE UPPER PENINSULA
As of 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, no major issues have been reported in Delta, Houghton, Gogebic, Alger, Dickinson, Schoolcraft, Luce, and Chippewa Counties.
A polling location in Erwin Township (Gogebic County) had a power outage sometime during the day. However, the outage only lasted one hour and the casting of ballots was not impacted.
Some county clerks have seen low voter turnout. Dolly Cook, the clerk for Dickinson County, stated that there was a “slow start” to the election in the area and there was a lower number of people coming out to vote than expected.