The millage renewal for the East Lansing Public Library has passed decisively, with about 85% of voters in favor. And with unofficial counts available for the East Lansing Public Schools Board race, Terah Chambers, Kath Edsall and Tali Faris-Hylen are clear winners, with Amanda Cormier as the apparent fourth-seat winner.
It was a lively scene in East Lansing on Election Day with heavy turnout among students on campus.
If long lines at the two City Clerk’s offices are any indication, voting turnout for the midterm elections was strong in East Lansing. While most polling places throughout the city did not appear to have long wait times, sites where voters can register to vote or change their voting addresses had long lines. Those in line appeared to be mostly Michigan State University students.
The City Office building on Abbott Road downtown had a line going out the door. And the Satellite Clerk’s office set up in Brody Square on the Michigan State University campus had a line that stretched through the entire building.
Rachel Wishop, a Michigan State social work graduate student, told ELi she had been waiting in line for more than 2.5 hours at Brody Square. Wishop said she needed to have her address changed before voting. While surprised by the long line, Wishop said she was mainly drawn to the polls to cast a ballot in favor of Gov. Whitmer and vote yes on Proposal 3.
“Nothing was going to stop me today from voting,” she said.
Despite the long lines as shown in the ELi video below, the atmosphere was upbeat at Brody Square, with many students waiting in groups. Additionally, Wishop said people were passing out drinks and snacks to those waiting in line.
Cathy Scott, who has worked elections for 20 years and was stationed at the MSU Union polling location, was pleased with turnout. A little before 6 p.m. Tuesday, Scott told ELi there had been about 120 voters so far at the precinct. While this is not a large number in comparison to some other city precincts, she said the turnout was pretty good for that location. She also said they had seen more students who needed to be directed to the correct polling location.
“We redirected probably 200 people to go to the right place or go register at City Hall, so it’s been really busy here,” she said.
At the City offices, Maya Cassetta, a MSU senior sat by the curb near the office with a sign urging people to support Proposal 3, which protects the rights of women to reproductive freedom. Cassetta, who also worked on Sam Singh’s campaign and wore a t-shirt in support of Singh, said it was important that as a woman she show support for Proposal 3.
“A lot of people call it the most extreme [action], I say it’s the most protective,” she said. “We could become the most protective state for women in the country. I think that’s a wonderful thing and I think other states could then follow us.”
Earlier in the day, a group of anti-Proposal 3 protesters were stationed on the sidewalk outside the Hannah Center polling site, appealing to drivers on Abbot Road and those turning into the center parking lot to defeat the measure. Proposal 3 went on to be approved by Michigan voters.
Gary Beaudoin serves as a precinct chair and was helping voters at Edgewood United Church. He said he has been working elections for 13 years, but it’s hard to gauge turnout this year versus years past because any reason absentee ballot voting passed in 2018. Passage of that statewide ballot proposal allowed many people to vote prior to election day.
Due to long wait times at the clerk’s office to register to vote, Beaudoin said workers at the City Office registered some voters, then sent them to the church to vote. This added to the people voting at the church, but did not cause long wait times or overwhelm workers. He said there are some small problems with every election, but things went well in Tuesday’s election.
“We have a good crew here of people working and they do a good job of keeping things running smoothly,” Beaudoin said.
Unofficial local election results continue to roll in, but numbers show decisive wins.
East Lansing Public Library Millage
East Lansing residents voted overwhelmingly once again to renew funding to the East Lansing Public Library. The initiative designates 0.997 mills to the library for the next 10 years. Unofficial results show 10,261 votes for the millage with 1,845 against.
East Lansing School Board
Voters chose from a slate of 10 candidates to fill four open slots on the East Lansing School Board. This is how things stand now with unofficial votes from the county clerk’s office:
Terah Chambers 6,145
Kath Edsall 5,498
Tali Faris-Hylen 5,198
Amanda Cormier 4,067
Jim McEvoy 4,004
Lind Brown-Wren 3,933
Rob Sumbler 3,007
Mike Feldpausch 2,779
Steven Davis 1,437
Tyler Allan Smith 1,402
The 54 B District Court judge positions will be filled by Lisa Babcock and Molly Hennessey Greenwalt, who both ran unopposed. Hennessey Greenwalt is returning as an incumbent, after being appointed to the seat by Gov. Whitmer last year. Babcock is an attorney who has served on East Lansing City Council since 2019. They are the second and third women elected to 54B and will be the first bench of 54B with two (all) women.
Babcock’s election means the City Council will have to appoint a person to fill out the remainder of her seat through next November’s election.
Incumbent 30th Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk ran unopposed and won.
For the non-incumbent seat on the 30th Circuit court, Morgan Elizabeth Cole beat Christopher Wickman by a wide margin, with Cole obtaining 54,373 votes to Wickman’s 30,960.
At the state and national level, Michigan voters have their say.
The Associated Press has called the governor’s race in favor of incumbent Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, defeating Republican challenger Tudor Dixon. A Michigan State University graduate, Whitmer made East Lansing a priority in her reelection campaign, holding a campaign event the day before the election on MSU’s campus.
Incumbent Democrat Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has declared victory over Republican Kristina Karamo. Benson thanked voters for reelecting her at 12:02 a.m. Wednesday. Benson’s reelection comes after she oversaw the 2020 presidential election in Michigan, an election Karamo baselessly questioned the results of.
In the race to serve as Michigan’s Attorney General, NBC News has projected incumbent Democrat Dana Nessel has defeated Republican challenger Matthew DePerno. DePerno has been a vocal denier of the results of the 2020 election. Nessel has been at the center of a local controversy, after charging DeAnthony VanAtten, a young, Black man, with seven felonies and a misdemeanor after he was shot by East Lansing Police. The East Lansing City Council has requested the charges be dropped.
Michigan State University Board of Trustees
In the midst of more Michigan State Board of Trustee turmoil, voters selected two candidates to join the board. WKAR reported this morning that Democrat Dennis Denno with 1,140,842 votes and Democrat incumbent Renee Knake Jeffersonwith 1,173,238 votes will fill the open seats. They are trailed most closely by Republican Mike Balow with 1,417,075 votes and Republican Travis Menge with 1,360,922.
East Lansing voters weighed in on who will represent Michigan’s 7th District in the U.S. House. The race between incumbent Democrat Elissa Slotkin and Republican Tom Barrett has been called by the Associated Press in favor of Slotkin, in a race that was watched nationally.
In the State Capitol
MIRS News has called the race to represent Michigan’s 28th Senate District in favor of Democrat Sam Singh, who defeated Republican Daylen Howard. A former East Lansing Mayor and member of the Michigan House of Representatives , Singh outperformed Howard in Ingham County by a wide margin, collecting 35,955 votes to Howard’s 13,247.
In the state house, East Lansing voters weighed in on one of two races, depending on where they live in the city. In the 73rd district, it appears as though incumbent Julie Brixie has won a third term over Republican challenger Norm Shinkle. Brixie retweeted an announcement from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee saying she had been reelected.
Other East Lansing voters decided between Republican Chris Stewart and Democrat Penelope Tsernoglou to represent the state’s 75th district. Tsernoglou appears to be on her way to victory, with over 60% of the votes, with 95% of the votes counted, according to the Detroit Free Press.