Michigan Election 2020 Live Updates: Voter turnout of at least 5.26 million is a record
Polls have closed throughout Michigan, but we don't expect to know the final results until later this week. Prepare for a thorough, methodical count — and a good deal of uncertainty — in the hours and days to come.
- Here's what's at stake in Michigan
- Full 2020 election results
- Election results could be known in 24 hours, Benson says
- USPS blows past federal court order to sweep for ballots
- Michigan saw 24,000 same-day voter registrations
- Detroit election officials project highest voter turnout in more than 20 years
Dozens of election challengers showed up at the TCF Center before midnight in response to concerns that the process for counting Detroit’s absentee ballots was being interfered with.
Challengers aligned with the ACLU, NAACP, organized labor and local grassroots organizations responded to a callout to show up at the TCF Center to counterbalance about 50 challengers from the GOP who were there to monitor the absentee vote count.
“We got a call that they needed more volunteers,” said Branden Snyder, executive director of Detroit Action, an organization that focuses on housing and economic justice. “Our goal is to make sure the process is fair and equal.”
After about 100 challengers responded to the callout, Snyder began turning some away, asking them to come back to the TCF Center in the early morning.
“I think right now it’s under control,” he said. “I feel good. We’ll still be having folks out, basically making sure that all votes are counted.”
— Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press
From the street, the Detroit Department of Elections office on West Grand Boulevard looked sleepy just before 10 p.m., its lights dimmed to passersby. But inside, the place was bright and election workers were busy. One woman, sitting behind a box of ballots, said it was too early to predict when results might be available. After all, she said, the polls had only closed two hours earlier. They were in for a long night, it seemed. The city has hired 10,000 poll workers for the election, according to Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey.
— Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson expects votes in the state to be counted by Wednesday night, she said at a news conference in Detroit late Tuesday evening.
Michigan set a new record for voter turnout Tuesday, with at least 3.26 million absentee ballots sent in and an estimated 2 million to 2.5 million Michiganders voting at the polls on Election Day.
Combining those numbers, and using the low-end estimate for voting at the polls, at least 5.26 million votes were cast. That would beat the record of just over 5 million, set in the presidential election of 2008, when former President Barack Obama won Michigan on his way to victory.
Benson also said that about 28,000 Michigan residents took advantage of same-day voter registration Tuesday. It was the first presidential election since Michigan residents adopted same-day registration, along with a citizen redistricting commission and other reforms, in a 2018 referendum.
— Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press
Tired of reading the news? We get it. Click below to hear stories from Election Day.
Voter turnout in Detroit is projected to be 53% to 55%, the highest in more than 20 years, election officials said Tuesday night. City Clerk Janice Winfrey said that about 80,000 absentee ballots have been counted as of 7:30 pm out of a total of roughly 120,000 absentee ballots.
Read more about voter turnout in Detroit here.
Michigan saw more than 24,000 same-day registrations Tuesday, with the greatest numbers happening in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Kalamazoo, said Jake Rollow, a spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State's Office.
Election Day mostly went smoothly in Michigan, altough there were some isolated attempts to mislead voters and long lines at some polls.
Still, relief was the dominant mood among voters leaving polling places around the state.
Read more about how Election Day went in Michigan here.
The United States Postal Service failed to comply with a federal court order on Election Day to inspect mail service in places like Detroit to make sure that all mailed ballots were delivered.
USPS said it couldn't meet U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan's deadline to send inspectors or designees between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday to certain U.S. processing facilities to sweep for ballots and make sure remaining ones were sent out.
The order, which came out of a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., would've interrupted Election Day processes at the facilities and wasn’t feasible for the small number of inspectors, according to a response filed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
A previously court-ordered certification was conducted by 10 a.m., however, the response stated. In addition, daily reviews have taken place at 220 facilities and reviews are conducted from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Now the USPS faces a discussion Wednesday about its "apparent lack of compliance with the Court's order," according to an order filed by Sullivan later Tuesday. Sullivan acknowledged the efforts underway and said he was inclined to let them continue.
— Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press
A power outage in southeast Flint left one polling location in the dark for approximately an hour on Election Day. Voters at Freeman Elementary School were affected.
Read more about what happened here.
Colorful tiles featuring letters of the alphabet lined the parquet floors of Mexicantown’s Maybury Elementary School, leading to an open cafeteria where a light but steady stream of voters moved in and out with ease. Poll workers had the place running smoothly, and people moved in and out in an average of about seven minutes. Outside, a police officer regularly circled through the neighborhood by car, observing carefully.
One small issue arose when a challenger gave misleading information, according to a poll worker.
“He was trying to tell people who didn’t have IDs they couldn’t vote without identification, which is a lie,” said one worker, who did not wish to be identified, “so we got him to leave pretty quickly.”
Maybury is one of two locations that intercepted residents who formerly voted at Western International High School, a last-minute change during the August primary that led to confusion and ire. On Election Day, signs dotted the parking lot of Western High directing those from some precincts there, and others to Clippert Multicultural Magnet Honors Academy, a few blocks away.
Over an hour of observation before noon, the overwhelming majority of voters at Maybury were Hispanic women over 60, followed by Black men under 40, then black women in their twenties. One very young voter wore a sweatshirt that read, “Don’t mess with a senior who survived corona - Class of 2020.”
— Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press
While a record 3.2 million absentee ballots were returned in Michigan as of Tuesday afternoon, many voters still went in person.
For some, it was convenience.
Julie Guidry, 32, cast a ballot in person at her precinct at the Ferndale Public Library. She said it “was just easier” than voting by mail.
Wariness of the vote-by-mail process is what led others, such as 28-year-old Corey Fischmann of Ferndale, to vote in person. He requested and received an absentee ballot but decided a few weeks ago that he wanted to be “completely certain” that his ballot didn’t get lost in the mail.
“I also didn’t want it to wait to be counted. There have been mild fears that the counting process for all the mail-in votes will take an incredibly long time. I don’t know how founded those are, but I didn’t want to be a part of it,” said Fischmann, who voted at the Ferndale Public Library.
Jeff Fuller, 52, wanted to “make sure it was done right.”
A Livonia resident, Fuller said now that he’s punched his ballot, he has released any anxiety about the election.
“I feel good, I feel like I got my vote in and we’ll see what happens,” Fuller said. “I did what I can and I’ll live with the results.”
Aaron Carpenter, 33, said he voted in person at his precinct, Royal Oak Fire Station No. 2, because “that’s how it’s always been.”
He brought his kids, and his two-year-old son walked out the fire station proudly clutching a piece of paper with two stickers that read “future voter.”
“It is also a good experience for them just to see how important it is to vote,” Carpenter said.
— Angie Jackson and Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press
Teams of nonpartisan people of faith circulated throughout Wayne County to soothe souls at the polls.
Michael Copado, a Unity minister from Hamtramck, said they came out to be “the rotating, de-escalating faith leaders creating a non-anxious presence.”
Sister Erin McDonald of the Sisters of St. Joseph and Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny of the Sisters of Mercy were part of a team of a half dozen volunteers with the Election Defenders who greeted voters around 5:30 p.m. at precinct seven in Redford. The relatively new organization dispatched several teams “to support the right to vote in a peaceful, positive way,” McDonald said.
They started the day at 10 a.m. prepared to counter efforts to intimidate voters.
Instead, Dobrovolny said: “We’ve been finding a lot of good energy for voting … what has been delightful is what we’re not finding.”
For more, read Detroit Free Press reporter Darcie Moran's story.
— M.L. Elrick, Detroit Free Press
A spokesman for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is disputing a report from CNN that Michigan expects to have its election results available much earlier than forecasted.
Benson has said Michigan may not have final tallies until Friday, with a record 3.2 million absentee ballots returned as of Tuesday afternoon.
Though the counting of absentee ballots Tuesday is reportedly going smoothly, and officials hope to have full results before Friday, that forecast has not changed, Benson spokesman Jake Rollow said.
Benson “said there will be a mix of both absentee and precinct results … available tonight,” Rollow said. “That is the case,” as it always is, he said.
“That does not mean we expect to have full results available this evening,” he said. “We certainly don’t.”
The Secretary of State and local clerks will provide results as they become available. Whether anyone is able to project a result of Michigan’s presidential race Tuesday night based on which ballots have been counted and which ballots remain to be counted will depend on how close the race is, Rollow said. If it is a blowout in either direction, such projections will be made, he said.
However, they will not be made by the Secretary of State’s Office, he said.
— Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press
For the first time in more than 40 years, Sandra Hultgren, 64, will not be voting.
She goes to Utah every year during the winter, and if it is an election year, she requests an absentee ballot from Michigan.
It's a routine she has had for a long time and she never had a problem — until this year, when two of her absentee ballots from Dearborn Heights did not make it in the mail.
And as a Joe Biden supporter, Hultgren said, "This is the most important election ever. And I'm not voting."
Hultgren said in August, she requested an absentee ballot be sent to her temporary residence in Utah. At the end of September, she checked the ballot tracker online, which said it was mailed on Sept. 24. Two weeks later, she still didn’t receive a ballot. She then contacted the clerk's office in Dearborn Heights, which is her permanent residence.
She said they told her to spoil the ballot and apply for another absentee ballot. Hultgren did so, tracked her second ballot — mailed on Oct. 7 — but it never showed up.
Most voters who did not receive their absentee ballot can head to their precinct, cancel their absentee ballot, and vote in person.
But Hultgren said that was not an option 1,800 miles away. And airfare was out of the question.
The clerk's office "seemed somewhat concerned" about her situation, she said but Hultgren said she wasn't sure what was the break in the chain. After two ballots missing and seeing a similar situation from someone else in the Dearborn Heights Facebook group, she wasn't sure if the problem was the postal service or the clerk's office.
"But missing two ballots? It makes me a little suspicious of the clerk's office in Dearborn Heights. I don't know. I don't know. It's just thoughts going through my head on what could have happened," she said.
Hultgren looked into changing residency, but Utah requires voters to live in the state for at least 30 days.
"I think voting is like a civic duty. It's very important. I feel like I've been shut out."
— Nisa Khan, Detroit Free Press
The clerk of a small northern Michigan town says voting is going smoothly and there have been no disturbances at polling places Tuesday.
“It has been steady for most of the day. I know for sure that two of our five precincts have had a long line since the opening of polls,” said Alpena City Clerk Anna Soik.
“We have also been very busy in my office here at City Hall registering new voters. No major issues, thankfully. I haven’t had any issues with guns in the polling location.”
Leading up to Election Day, Soil and other clerks said they were nervous about possible problems with voters openly carrying firearms at polling places. The fears arose after Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tried to implement a directive banning the open carry of guns at polling places and other locations on Election Day.
“I’m not going to lie, I am concerned about it. And we may possibly even have a police presence," Soik said in late October.
"Because I think right now, in the time that we’re in, everybody is kind of on edge, and you just don’t know how someone is going to react, so we just need to be prepared for that."
Michigan courts ultimately overturned Benson’s directive. Benson and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel say voting is going relatively smoothly.
— Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press
Volunteers unhappy with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set up camp outside Adams Middle School in Westland, where two vehicles parked out front with signs that read “Biden is a pedophile,” “RECALL WHITMER” and “SIGN PETITION HERE.”
About five people lined up to sign the petition. A Recall Whitmer campaign volunteer, who refused to give her name, said Election Day was a good opportunity to get signatures.
“Because of her power, because of all the things she’s taken from us,” said the volunteer. “The COVID nursing home deaths, she’s lying about that. And then all the businesses closed. The suicides are up, addictions are up, depression (is up). Old folks in senior citizen homes — some of them just want to die because they’re not allowed to have family visits.”
The organization’s goal is to collect 1.3 million signatures, and the volunteer plans to be at the Westland location for the rest of the day.
— Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press
There’s no line, but Southwest Detroit residents are streaming in and out constantly at Clippert Multicultural Magnet Honors Academy. Most of the voters are Hispanic women, of all ages, and many of them speak little or no English, but they know who they’re voting for.
“Biden,” they answered, again and again.
A man stood near the school entrance, handing out literature on various candidates. As he approached an older Hispanic woman, she held out a finger to stop him.
“That’s not Republican, is it?” she asked in Spanish.
A female neighborhood resident who did not provide her full name said: “Biden believes in women’s rights and wants better for minorities. If I voted for Trump, I’d be voting against myself. That would be silly of me and I’d be condoning the things he does. He makes fun of minorities, makes fun of women, disrespects the presidency, our government. I don’t think that’s fair.”
She expressed concern, however, in the short-term future in the event of a Biden win.
“I think something bad’s going to happen if he wins,” she said. “If he wins and Trump stays in office until January, he will try to mess things up for us and make it look like he’s cleaning up.”
Brittany Gonzales holds similar beliefs.
“The team Biden and Harris have will hopefully bring democracy back to our country and heal us from what we’ve been through the last four years,” she said.
— Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press
Here's a question that's coming up among voters: Do I need to wear a mask?
All answers can be found right here.
A pallet of bricks near the Wayne State University Tierney Alumni House in Detroit are for constructing a wall, not a riot, said the owner of the construction company building a screening wall with the bricks.
John Hamood, 62, is the owner of John Hamood Construction Services out of Dearborn. The bricks were in the parking lot of the Marathon gas station next to the construction site at 5564 Woodward Ave. in Midtown. Hamood said after multiple people stopped at the gas station to ask about the purpose of the bricks, the owner of the gas station got in touch with him and asked him to put a cover over them.
While Hamood was putting black wrapping around the bricks, he said police pulled up and thanked him for concealing them.
“There were not any loose bricks,” Hamood said. “There are metal bands that strap them tightly together.”
— Ashley Nerbovig, Detroit Free Press
For more detail, check out these Associated Press and Free Press stories:
Reuters: U.S. postal service ordered to check for delayed ballots in key battlegrounds including Michigan
"A judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service to sweep some mail processing facilities on Tuesday afternoon for delayed ballots and immediately dispatch them for delivery in election battlegrounds such Pennsylvania and Florida among other places.
"Affected by the order are central Pennsylvania, northern New England, greater South Carolina, south Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Alabama and Wyoming as well as the cities of Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit and Lakeland, Florida."
For more about what's happening in Detroit, click on this Free Press story below:
Michigan not only is blasting through previous records for absentee ballot-casting in a presidential election. It turns out that those who took those ballots have returned them at record rates as well.
State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananach tweeted today that as of noon, Michigan was at a record-breaking absentee ballot return rate of 90.94% — a number likely to rise as election day rolls on, as voters can still bring the ballots to drop-off sites and their polling place. The return rate for such ballots was just over 82% in the 2016 presidential election.
"Michigan is breaking records left and right, and enthusiasm is off the charts," the Flint Democrat said.
— Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press
The presidential campaigning continues, even as Election Day votes are cast. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, made a campaign stop in Detroit today, to urge voter turnout in the Democratic stronghold.
Statewide polls have shown Biden with a consistent lead over President Donald Trump, a Republican. But Harris, a California Democrat, remained cautious.
"Listen, the day ain’t over," she said. "Ask me after the polls close and maybe I’ll have a better idea. But right now I’m just here to remind people to vote because the election is still happening right now. It’s not over."
— Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press
In rural Ionia, east of Grand Rapids, 24-year-old McKenzie Holton said this was her first time voting, and she voted for President Donald Trump. She said Trump "has done more than most presidents in four years."
Her heavily Republican county is expected to again vote red, as it did in 2016.
Sherry Hutchinson, 71, lives in the city’s First Ward. She said she previously voted for Obama, but voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. She said she "can't trust Biden."
Forrest Stoffers, 24, also voted for Trump. He said this is "probably one of the biggest elections in my lifetime," and that he was particularly interested in Second Amendment rights to gun ownership.
Closer to Detroit, red voter affiliation flipped to blue.
Evan Dunn, 26, of West Bloomfield, said it took about 45 minutes to vote at his precinct in Walnut Creek Middle School.
He voted for Biden, saying two main issues drove his vote: "State violence and the rollback of so many environmental regulations."
Debbie Dymon, 54, of West Bloomfield, cited one key reason for her Biden vote: "The virus," she said. "I just don't think Trump did a good job of dealing with COVID."
— Evan Sasiela, Ionia Sentinel-Standard; John Wisely and Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press
Of course, it's much too early to know who has won and lost in Michigan's elections. The polls don't close for another six hours.
But here's the thing: You don't want to be scrambling to find a reliable source once the polls do close and you need to know the latest RIGHT NOW.
The solultion? This Free Press Michigan election results page. Best to bookmark now before you forget later.
What time are polls open until in Michigan?
All polling locations will be open until 8 p.m.
What if I’m in line when polls close on Election Day, but I haven’t voted yet?
Don't fret. Stay in line. If you are in line by 8 p.m. today, you are allowed to vote.
More questions? Check out this essential voting story here.
In Royal Oak Township, an advocate for a local candidate got especially vocal outside the polling place.
Chevez Marshall, 39, of Royal Oak Township, spoke into a megaphone, urging those coming to vote to cast a ballot for his "big sister," Felicia Royal, who is running for township supervisor. Change isn't change, Marshall said, until there's a change of leadership.
"We're just competing with the opposition," he said. "We're just debating and politicking."
The amplified exhortation triggered reports there might be voter intimidation and electioneering. But the township clerk, Gwendolyn Turner, said if there was, it wasn't reported to her.
Other witnesses said it sounded more like spirited political promotion than anything else.
— Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press
When Helen Morris, 74, immigrated to the United States from Scotland as a child, she said she wanted nothing more than to be able to vote. On Tuesday in Livonia, many years later, she cast her vote for President Donald Trump for a second time.
Morris said she's been pleased with Trump's performance in office — and displeased with Trump's opponents and how the sitting president has been covered by the media.
"America will never be a socialist country," she said. "I came from a socialist country and Americans don't realize what they have."
Ravenna Hoffman, 57, of Croswell pointed to her hair dyed red and said it was a show of support for Trump. She said the election was about a "free America."
Concerned about "the state of country, loss of control," Terrie Sygit, 62, a retired classroom assistant from Lexington, said she also planned to cast her vote for Trump for a second time. Another Trump supporter, Ted Roskey, 57, a real estate agent from Lexington, voted Tuesday with his wife, saying they were church-going, pro-lifers. 'Probably 90% of the people out here are Republicans," he said.
But not all of Michigan runs Republican red, including Patrick Morrell, 37, who voted at the Northwest Activity Center in Detroit.
"We need faces of color in office," Morrell said. "I think that's what can turn around our situation and emotions toward Black people. Maybe having a woman in office, seen on the big stage, will help," apparently referencing Joe Biden's vice-presidential selection, Sen. Kamala Harris.
Bob Allen, 50, a garbage truck worker on Detroit's east side, showed up early at the polls to cast a vote for Biden.
"I've had a headache for four years," he said, referring to Trump's tenure and adding that it worsens "every time he opens his mouth."
Temitayo Miyoshi-Seun Jemison, a 50-year-old Detroiter who voted weeks ago by absentee ballot, stood on a sidewalk near a polling site, handing out flyers for a school board candidate.
“I’ll tell you this, I didn’t vote for Trump but I want to make America great,” she said, referring to President Donald Trump’s "Make America Great Again" slogan.
Voters the have a chance to undo some of the damage done by what she believes is Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis, she said.
“America right now is in a pandemic ... Some things that we are used to are no longer the norm,” she said.
She is distressed by what she sees — disrespect, an increase in ignorance, loss of income due to the pandemic. “Trump has no respect for anybody but himself,” she said. “Our leader lacks responsibility and leadership skills ... He doesn’t know basic principles of running a country."
— Jamie L. LaReau, Phoebe Wall Howard, Brendel Hightower, Tresa Baldas, Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press
The Detroit location to change your voter registration today is 1130 Clark St. To find it, it might take you a minute. Go through the black, iron door on the side of a brick building near the absentee ballot box. Inside, you'll find a small but humming team of about 15. They'll be masked and ready to assist you and other would-be voters.
It's all thanks to Proposal 3, passed by voters in 2018 to abolish Michigan’s voter registration deadline. Now, you can register on the same day, even Election Day. But you won't find it at your polling places. Instead, you'll have to check out the local clerk's offices or separate, designated points such as 1130 Clark.
So far, turn out has been pretty light. A Spanish-speaker helped translate for a family who spoke little English. It turns out they had mistakenly come in to cast their vote.
For more information on election-day voter registration, visit: https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/RegisterVoter
— Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press
Calls with automatic messages targeting Flint voters are spreading inaccurate information about the election, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted Tuesday morning.
“Getting reports of multiple robocalls going to Flint residents that, due to long lines, they should vote tomorrow,” Nessel tweeted.
“Obviously this is FALSE and an effort to suppress the vote. No long lines and today is the last day to vote. Don’t believe the lies! Have your voice heard! RT PLS.”
Only ballots cast in person Tuesday, or absentee ballots received by 8 p.m. tonight, are valid.
Earlier this year, Nessel filed charges against two men accused of orchestrating robocalls in the Detroit area. She and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson encourage anyone who hears about voter disinformation efforts to contact their offices.
Later in the day, the Associated Press, quoting a Department of Homeland Security senior official, reported that the FBI is investigating "calls that seek to discourage people from voting."
— Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press
Charlie and Kay Calkins, a married couple in Holland, voted for different presidential candidates today. It's not like they never talk about politics. But they said they know how to shake hands or even walk away from each other after agreeing to disagree.
“Our marriage has always stayed together,” Kay Calkins said with a laugh.
Kay said she voted for Biden. She’s never liked Trump, even before he ran for office, she said. “He’s a womanizer,” she said.
Charlie saw it differently and voted for Trump. “The other candidates are politicians. Trump’s not a politician," he said. "He’s a patriot.”
— Carolyn Muyskens, Holland Sentinel
Kristie Wiggert said she was energized for Tuesday’s election like no other, and she used the front door of her East Lansing home as a daily reminder to promote its urgency.
Back in late July, she posted a large sign on her door with the number 100. The next day, it was 99, and on and on she counted down the days until Tuesday. Instead of posting a “0” on today, Election Day, she posted the word “Vote,” along with, “Love your country.”
Wiggert, 77, a semi-retired musician and church organist who supports Democrat Joe Biden, said it was her way of doing her part.
“I can’t do very much at this point because I have a handicap where I can’t stand for very long,” Wiggert said. “I can’t do things like go out and canvass and knock on doors. I just felt like I needed to do something to make other people aware of our responsibility that we all have.”
— Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press
Nope, those red, "Make America Great Again" caps President Donald Trump made famous won't be allowed in a polling place. But neither will a Biden T-shirt or pin. It's nothing new.
For more than a half-century, Michigan election law has banned such open campaigning for a particular candidate, party or ballot initiative, both inside polling places and within 100 feet of their entrances. This includes verbal campaigning, clothing and buttons favoring a particular candidate, party or election position, and signs, pamphlets, fliers and stickers.
"If you go to the polls with a shirt or button bearing election-related images or slogans, you will be asked to cover or remove it," the Michigan Secretary of State office's website states.
— Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press
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It's not a surprise that in heavily Democratic Detroit, many voters today are telling us they picked Joe Biden.
Joaniy Cherry, 54, who cast his vote for Joe Biden at 7:30 a.m. at a school on Detroit’s east side, said there are two big issues he has with President Trump:
He doesn’t like how Trump treats women. And he thinks Trump mishandled the pandemic.
“This man has got to go,” Cherry said of Trump, while gripping his face mask.
“We need to put this on man,” Cherry said of his mask, arguing Trump hasn’t taken the virus seriously. “He’s making a joke out of it … and we do know it kills.”
Detroiter Brian Arndt said in 2016 he opted for a write-in candidate for president, writing down Mickey Mouse.
“I didn’t like Hillary,” Arndt said, referring to then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. But this year, the 51-year-old accounting manager said he voted for Joe Biden.
“He has a track record and I liked Obama,” Arndt said, adding: “And his pick of Kamala Harris inspired me. It’s great to have an African American Vice President.”
Arndt criticized the president’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
“He’s like, ‘Oh, it’s going to disappear in five months.’ He’s not listening to anybody,” said Arndt, who also believes Trump is fueling civil unrest in the country.
But lifelong Detroiter Joseph Shaw, 46, said he’s been waiting for years for someone to reduce unemployment. President Trump did that, he said, so he cast his vote for him at a school on the city’s east side.
“There’s a lot at stake here. Who is going to lead the country forward?” said Shaw, who also voted for Trump in 2016.
Shaw said that things were “a real mess” when Trump took over the White House, but that life improved for Americans after he took over, particularly with unemployment going down.
— Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press
The Michigan Secretary of State’s office received requests for backup poll workers from Pontiac and Grand Rapids Tuesday morning, a spokesman for the office said.
Jake Rollow said the office was prepared for such requests and recruited 30,000 poll workers statewide in advance of the election.
No further details were available for the reasons for the requests for additional workers.
— Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press
Study the candidates on your ballot in the Detroit Free Press' Voter Guide. The Free Press sent questionnaires to candidates in most of the contested races in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties -- from U.S. Senate to library boards. Hundreds of candidates responded. Enter your address to see responses from the candidates on your ballot.
— Jewel Gopwani, Detroit Free Press
There are already reports of long lines across Michigan at the polls. But a steady stream of Detroit voters moved in and out of the Greater Grace Church polling site on West 7 Mile quite easily before 8 a.m. Tuesday. As people walked out, they said that the process was smooth and some said the wait wasn't that bad.
James July, 63, of Detroit, said the process took less than 30 minutes. He was walking back to his car at 7:40 a.m. "It's important that all Black people vote," he said, adding that he votes every election because his forefathers died for that right.
Brandon Fountain, 33, of Detroit, voted for the first time when President Obama was elected. He said today that he had to get up and do his part and vote. "The country is in a state that it has never been in," Fountain said. "People are divided, the racism, all the injustices have massed since Trump has been in office."
— Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press
The Detroit City Clerk has received almost 166,000 absentee ballots — shattering numbers from 2016.
By comparison, about 57,000 absentee votes were cast in the city in the 2016 general election. That was before no-reason absentee voting was approved by Michigan voters in 2018.
More than 50,000 voters in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor have already returned absentee ballots this election as well.
As of Tuesday morning, Michigan clerks had received 3,111,414 absentee ballots, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement.
“The millions of voters who have already cast ballots, and the millions more who will do so today demonstrate that Michiganders trust our election system and know that it will deliver accurate results that reflect the will of the people," she said
More than 2 million people are expected to vote in person on Tuesday.
— Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press
It can be really tough to figure out how to get reliable election news today. You've made a good start by landing here. But the Washington Post also thinks highly of these Michigan reporters to help you along. (And yes, there are three from our own newsroom!)
- Chad Livengood, Crain’s Detroit
- Rick Albin, WOOD-TV
- Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio
- Riley Beggin, Bridge Michigan
- Ken Coleman, Michigan Advance
- Emily Lawler, MLive
- Zoe Clark, WUOM Michigan Radio
- David Eggert, Associated Press
- Jonathan Oosting, Bridge Michigan
- Andrew Roth, Michigan Advance
- Abigail Censky, WKAR
- Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press
- Beth LeBlanc, Detroit News
- Jordyn Hermani, Gongwer
- Malachi Barrett, MLive
- Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press
- Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press
Michigan voters who cast an absentee ballot can check to see if their ballot was received at the Secretary of State's Michigan Voter Information Center. If the ballot hasn't been received, the voter can still go to their polling site until 8 p.m. today, cancel their absentee ballot, and vote in-person.
Those who requested absentee ballots but never received them also have the option of voting in-person instead at their polling site. Unsure about where you should vote? Check by entering your address here: https://mi.gov/vote.
— Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press
For many — even most — Michigan voters, Election Day has already happened.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Monday that nearly 3 million Michigan voters have already cast absentee ballots.
"We anticipate roughly 2 million voters will vote in person (Tuesday), leading us to estimate that over 5 million people will vote overall, putting us on the path towards record-breaking voter turnout," she said.
More than 4.9 million people cast votes in Michigan in the 2016 presidential election. Michigan had over 7.75 million registered voters as of July, with just under 6.8 million considered active registered voters, who have voted at least once in the past six years.
—Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press
Michigan once again is among the most hotly contested states in the country.
Four years ago, President Donald Trump made history by breaking through the Democrats' "blue wall" in the Rust Belt, becoming the first Republican nominee to win Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania together since President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
This year, he has trailed in the polls against Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden in all three battleground states and nowhere more so than in Michigan, where the most recent RealClearPolitics.com average has him down 6.5 percentage points. The latest Free Press poll has him trailing Biden 48%-41%.
But the president's race isn't the only race on the ballot, far from it.
Running for his second six-year term in office, US Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat, has faced a strong challenge from Republican businessman John James of Farmington Hills, and if Peters were to lose it could have national ramifications.
Democrats believe they are on the verge of retaking majority control of the U.S. Senate. But to do so, they need to to gain several seats — three overall if Biden wins the presidency and his running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, becomes the Senate president, and four if Trump is re-elected. If Peters were to lose, it would mean Democrats would have to win another seat in addition to those to retake the majority.
— Todd Spangler and Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press
All polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. across Michigan. The Secretary of State encourages voters to wear a mask at their polling place, but they are not required. More answers to voting questions.
— Mikhayla Dunaj, Detroit Free Press