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Turnout said to be light

5 things to know about today’s primary election

August 5, 2014
Mining Journal

1. 'ACCIDENTAL' CONGRESSMAN DONE?

Republican U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, an unknown former teacher, auto designer and reindeer farmer, won the 11th District in suburban Detroit in 2012 because he was the only Republican on the primary ballot after incumbent Thad McCotter inexplicably turned in fraudulent voter signatures. Bentivolio faces a serious threat in lawyer Dave Trott, who has given or loaned $2.4 million to his campaign.

2. HOUSE SHAKE-UP

Article Photos

From left, Cecelia Korpi, JoAnn Mallory and Ginny Graybill assist Dianne Betts with voting at the Ishpeming Senior Center in the primary election this morning. Betts is also a poll worker. The women said voter turnout as of 9 a.m. had been light. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)

Opportunity knocks in four of Michigan's 14 House seats because Democrat John Dingell and Republicans Dave Camp and Mike Rogers are retiring, and Democrat Gary Peters is seeking retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin's seat. Primary winners from the departing congressmen's party will have the edge come November. Dingell's wife, Debbie, faces minimal opposition to fill his Detroit-area seat. The other open contests are competitive.

3. LONE QUESTION

The only statewide ballot proposal asks voters to replace lost revenue from the gradual elimination of personal property taxes that industrial and small businesses pay on machinery and equipment. Gov. Rick Snyder and lawmakers approved phasing out the tax for many businesses, saying it duplicated other taxes and discouraged growth. But the $500 million-plus tax cut will be halted if voters do not approve the proposed mechanism to replace the lost revenue in local budgets - a combination of diverting a portion of Michigan's use tax on out-of-state purchase and requiring manufacturers to pay a new special assessment on industrial equipment.

4. ANEMIC TURNOUT

For what is thought to be the first time in Michigan history, Republican and Democratic primaries for both governor and U.S. Senate in the same year are uncontested. So voter turnout will be low, potentially extremely low. The worst in recent memory was 1990, when 15 percent of the voting-age population cast a primary ballot. Lower turnout could help challengers against incumbents.

5. AT THE POLLS

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

 
 

 

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