Voter Turnout in August – Where Have all the Voters Gone?

Voter Turnout in August – Where Have all the Voters Gone?

(Guest View, Kurt Metzger, Data Expert and Pleasant Ridge Mayor, Aug. 9, 2019)

Oakland County, MI- In spite of the fact that election discussions often focus on methods of increasing voter turnout (Proposal 3, Promote the Vote, passed in November 2018), we continue to allow communities to conduct important elections in the middle of the summer, when Michiganders are more apt to be heading to cottages or thinking about back-to-school activities.  The result is low turnout, increasing the possibility that the organized forces are better able to control the results.

On Wednesday, the Oakland County Times reported the results of Tuesday’s (August 6) elections in select communities.  While the article reported vote totals, it did not indicate the percent of eligible voters who turned out.  This article does just that.

Rochester Hills – City Council Primary – 10.5 percent turnout

Birmingham – Parking Structure Bond Proposal – 32.6 percent turnout, in spite of multiple council discussions, a great deal of media coverage, and strong feelings on both sides

Walled Lake – Public Safety Millage – 11.8 percent turnout (passed with only 8.5 percent of all registered voters voting Yes)

Bloomfield Township – Special Assessment for Police and Fire – 29.6 percent turnout (failed with only 18.4 percent of all registered voters voting No)

Oxford – Police Protection Millage and Parks and Recreation Millage – 22.3 percent turnout

West Bloomfield Township – Public Safety Millage Replacement and Safety Path Millage Renewal – 12.6 percent

I continue to be extremely disappointed by voter turnout – local, state and federal.  Michigan has done a great deal (there is always more to do) to make voting more convenient.  Now that many of the excuses for not voting have been taken care of, and we still get these results, what do we do?

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Voter Turnout by City/Twp in Oakland County 2018 Election 

Nov 2017 Voter Turnout Across Oakland County

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