Neighborly Competition Drives Voter Turnout Challenge between PR & HW

Neighborly Competition Drives Voter Turnout Challenge between PR & HW

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 10, 2018)

Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, MI –  The Mayors of two of Oakland County’s smaller cities are hoping to increase voter turnout with a neighborly competition – and a $1,000 prize.

Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger often analyzes election data, and compares the participation rate of his community to the neighbors to the north, Huntington Woods.

“While both cities consistently have two of the highest turnout rates in southeast Michigan, Huntington Woods has edged us out in each of the last 4 Presidential elections.  Our victories have come in the odd-numbered years when we have had Mayoral elections (2013 and 2017), or Commissioner races combined with important local ballot issues (2011).  2015 is not included as PR was way overshadowed (49.6 vs. 24.1) when Huntington Woods had local issues to decide,”  Metzger said.

This trend prompted Metzger to challenge Pleasant Ridge residents to do better, and to challenge Huntington Woods Mayor Bob Paul to see which city would come out on top for the Nov. 6, 2018 election.

“Needless to say, the 2018 election is critical for Michigan and the nation – Governor, Congress and State House and Senate elections, along with probable ballot initiatives on Recreational Marijuana, Non-Partisan Redistricting, and possibly the RTA,” Metzger said.  “If that is not enough, someone has put up $1,000 to be awarded to the Recreation Programs of the winning city.  I hope we will be able to add to that total, and I know I will be having a friendly wager with the Mayor of Huntington Woods.”

Paul seemed confident that Huntington Woods would win, but said he wanted the competition “not to be too contentious.”

In the Aug. 7 Primary, Huntington Woods had the best turnout in the County, with 55%.  Pleasant Ridge came in second with 52%.  The small, economically stable communities rank high along with Lake Angelus and Lathrup Village.  Huntington Wood’s neighbor to the north, Berkley ranked 13th in the county with 40.2%; and Pleasant Ridge’s neighbor to the south, Ferndale, ranked 14th with 39.7%.

Voters in both cities get “I voted” stickers as they finish up at the polls, but in Pleasant Ridge they also get cookies.  Will this and the potential investment in the recreation program sweeten the appeal of this patriotic task?  We shall see on Nov. 6.

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