As I think it’s probably against the law for me to command you to vote a certain way tomorrow, let’s just call this friendly advice

Last night, I told you how I intend to vote on Michigan’s six state-wide ballot proposals. And, tonight, my plan, if I can keep from falling asleep, is to tell you what I think about all of the races for elected office, and the local proposals that we’ll be voting on in Ypsilanti.

Before we get started, though, here are a few quick things.

1. If you’re registered to vote in Ypsilanti, you can find your sample ballot here. I intend to print a copy, mark it up, and take it with me tomorrow, and I’d suggest that you do so as well. Given that there are three pages of items that need to be voted on, I think the lines are going to be moving very slowly tomorrow. And, as that’s the case, I think it will really help if those of us who are reading this now, come prepared to vote quickly and move along. If just 20 of us go into the voting booth knowing how we want to vote on every issue, and don’t have to read each and every ballot proposal, it could save over an hour of “booth time,” and that could easily translate to one more person staying in line and voting, rather than walking away in disgust at the prospect of a torturously long wait.

2. Given the fact that this is a presidential election year, and we’ve got a three-page ballot to contend with, lines, as I stated above, will be long, and many of us, no doubt, will be forced to wait outside, in the cold. Plan for that eventuality. Dress warmly, and, if you’re a person who requires food, take a fried egg in your pocket, or some other kind of snack with you. I don’t know that it’s the case, but I imagine that folks who walk away from their polling places, saying that the’ll come back later, when the lines are shorter, more often than not, don’t. So, come prepared to stay, and, if you’re in a position to do so, consider bringing snacks for others in line, comic books to share, etc. If just a few of us can convince someone to stay who might otherwise leave, it could make a big difference.

3. Be happy. Voting is the most awesome thing in the world. And, if you can, take your kids. It’s an incredible opportunity to introduce them to the democratic process… or at least what’s left of it.

4. As Michigan is heavily favored to go Democrat, I don’t imagine we’ll see orchestrated, widespread attempts at election fraud, like our friends in Ohio and Florida are likely to experience, but we should always be on the lookout for any procedural improprieties and interference with voter rights, and we should be prepared, when appropriate, to document and share such instances. If you should happen to see anything that doesn’t look right, or if you are told that you cannot vote, you can contact the nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition at either 1-866-OUR-VOTE (administered by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law), or 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota (administered by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund).

5. And, if you don’t already know where your polling place is, and you’re registered to vote in Michigan, you can find out here.

And now for the fun stuff… Here are the folks that I’d like to see win tomorrow. I should add that I’m more enthusiastic about some of these folks than others, but I guess that goes without saying (In particular, I wish I could vote for a County Commissioner that I was at least somewhat excited about.)

Barack Obama

U.S. Senate
Debbie Stabenow

U.S. House of Representatives
12th: John Dingell

I also support:
7th: Kurt Haskell
11th: Syed Taj
14th: Gary Peters

Michigan House of Representatives
54th: David Rutledge

I also support:
52nd: Adam Zemke
53rd: Jeff Irwin
55th: Gretchen Driskill

State Board of Education
Michelle Fecteau
Lupe Ramos-Montigny

University of Michigan Regent
Mark Bernstein
Shauna Ryder Diggs

Michigan State University Trustee
Joel Ferguson
Brian Mosallam

Wayne State University Governor
Sandra Hughes O’Brien
Kim Trent

Washtenaw County Prosecutor
Brian L. Mackie

Washtenaw County Sheriff
Jerry L. Clayton

Washtenaw County Clerk
Lawrence Kestenbaum

Washtenaw County Treasurer
Catherine McClary

Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner
Evan Pratt

County Commissioner
6th: Ronnie Peterson

I also support:
3rd: Wesley Prater
4th: Felicia Brabec
5th: Rolland Sizemore
7th: Andy LaBarre
8th: Yousef Rabhi
9th: Conan Smith

Ypsilanti City Council
3rd: Pete Murdock

I also support:
1st: Lois Richardson
2nd: Susan Moeller

Michigan Supreme Court
Connie Marie Kelley
Bridget Mary McCormack
Sheila Johnson (for the partial term seat)

Court of Appeals, District Court, Probate Court, and Circuit Court Judges
Most of these are uncontested, so I won’t list every person that I’ll be voting for. In the contested races, though, I plan to vote for Carol Kuhnke (22nd Circuit Court Judge) and Michael Woodyard (22nd Circuit Court Judge).

Ypsilanti School Board
D’Real Graham

Washtenaw Community College Trustee
Richard Landau
Diane McKnight Morton
Patrick McLean (for the partial term seat)

Ypsilanti District Library
As three people are running for three seats, it doesn’t appear to matter.

Statewide Proposals
All of my reasoning can be found in yesterday’s mega post, but here, again, is how I intend to vote on Proposals 1 through 6.

Proposal 1: NO
Proposal 2: YES
Proposal 3: YES
Proposal 4: YES
Proposal 5: NO
Proposal 6: NO

City Charter Revision
My friend, Richard Murphy, made a compelling argument on this site a week or so ago as to why the citizens of Ypsilanti should support the revised City Charter, especially as it pertains to the provision on nonpartisan elections. In spite of his rather convincing argument, though, I’m going to have to vote “no” tomorrow. While I agree that there are some good points raised in this edited Charter, I don’t think, on the whole, that it would be a good idea for the City, as, among other things, this proposed revision would eliminate the automatic 16-year review of the Charter, change the reporting relationship between the City Clerk and the City Council, and make it impossible for City staff to propose ordinances without the support of at least two City Council members. This, as someone on Council told me earlier this evening, would be “a procedural nightmare.” Plus, I’m not altogether convinced that partisan elections are a bad thing. And, even if I were convinced that nonpartisan elections would be a good thing for Ypsilanti, I wonder if there might not be a better way to go about doing it, like the implementation of “a November, non-partisan, instant runoff voting system for our local offices,” as someone suggested in the comments section.

Charter Amendment to Make Pot the Lowest Priority of our Police Force
As we’ve discussed in the past, I’m not a huge fan of marijuana. I don’t think, however, that it should be illegal. So, while I have some concerns as to how the wording of this amendment will translate to implementation by our police on the street, I suppose I’ll be voting in favor of it. (What does it mean to say that it’s the “lowest priority”? Does that mean that it’s still illegal, and that someone can still be busted for it, but that, if, at the same time a cop sees you smoking weed, she also sees someone litter, that she has to go after the person who threw the candy wrapper?)

School Consolidation
I will be voting in favor of consolidation. It’s not an ideal situation, but, as I understand it, the alternative is worse. This will be especially true if Proposition 1 passes, and this consolidation proposal does not. In that instance, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and the State Board of Education have made it clear that our school district’s takeover by an Emergency Manager will be accelerated. And, I think the main thing now is to avoid giving up local control to an unelected Emergency Manager at all costs. (If you’ll recall, the Emergency Manager of Muskegon Heights recently gave orders for his district to shut down all public schools and go to an “all charter” scheme.) And, it’s difficult to know for sure if they’ll live up to their word, but administrators have given the indication that, if this consolidation between Willow Run and Ypsilanti happens, they’ll be receptive to the community-based reform ideas that we’ve discussed on this blog in the past. So, I will reluctantly be voting for consolidation… and the millage in support of said consolidation.

OK, that’s as far as I can make it this evening. My eyelids are drooping… See you tomorrow, at the polls.

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  1. Bill
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Prop 6 is such a waste of time. I don’t even know why it’s on there. HEY! Let’s not modernize and expand infrastructure! Great Idea!

  2. Mike Shecket
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    I, for one, welcome our new Mark Maynard overlords.

  3. Posted November 6, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Does that mean that it’s still illegal, and that someone can still be busted for it, but that, if, at the same time a cop sees you smoking weed, she also sees someone litter, that she has to go after the person who threw the trash?

    YES, damn it! :-)

  4. Edward
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I doubt this piece of information will sway your opinion, but Steve Pierce is for the revised city charter.

    Here’s his email.


    VOTE YES on the Ypsilanti City Charter

    Oh we know, the email and TV ads have been flying about voting yes or vote no on a particular issue. But here is one issue we can all agree on, we all love our City.

    On Tuesday, November 6, residents of the City of Ypsilanti have the opportunity to vote for a New Ypsilanti City Charter.

    The voters decided in 2010 to convene a new City Charter Commission after the last charter was adopted nearly 18 years ago. On the commission was a broad spectrum of Democrats, Republicans and Independents all working together towards one common goal, a better Ypsilanti.

    What was wrong with the old charter? Well it is showing its age a bit and many items in the charter no longer were in line with state law or changes in our on community.

    The Charter Commission held over 100 hours of public meetings and had input from hundreds of members in the community.

    What is in the new in the new charter?
    Limits pay increase for City Council to the rate of inflation.
    Permits public notices to be published in newspapers, the City’s website and on-line news sources.
    In order to propose an ordinance, it must have the support of at least two city council members.
    No longer require a special election as a result of a petition or referendum.
    All elections in the City will be non-partisan and provide for a primary if more than one person runs for office.
    The City Clerk will now be hired and report to the City Manager, not City Council. Since the clerk is responsible for elections, this removes any potential conflict of interest of the clerk being answerable to elected officials.
    Money not spent in a fiscal year is no longer captive and held over to the next year. Instead it returns to the general fund where Council decides where it can best be spent.
    These new changes are good for Ypsilanti and the Community and deserve your support. Please Yes Vote on November 6th for the Ypsilanti City Charter.


    These are the members of the Charter the Commission that worked so hard the past 18 months on this new Charter and they too deserve your support and thanks for all their effort

    Former Ypsilanti Mayor Cheryl Farmer
    Former City Councilor John Gawlas
    Former Ypsilanti Public Schools Superintendent James Hawkins
    Former EMU Regent Karen Quinlan-Valvo
    Attorney James Fink
    Long-time Business Leader Peter Fletcher
    Former EMU Professor William Fennel
    Land Planner Robert Doyle
    Former School Board member Kim Porter-Hoppe

  5. Posted November 6, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Kurt Haskell sucks. He’s a right winger in democratic disguise.

  6. anonymous
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I didn’t call the number and verify it to be true, but there’s also an FBI number going around with a note saying that you should call it if anyone tries to impede your voting. You can find it here.

  7. anonymous
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Assuming that you’re right about Haskell, what’s the alternative? Are you voting for Haskell’s Republican opponent, Peter?

  8. K2
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    How can I possibly vote against something that Farmer, Fink and Pierce are supporting? If only they had Eller on board it would be a no-brainer.

  9. Eel
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Happy to wake up and confront a ballot without Mike Eller’s name on it.

    Good work, Ypsi.

    And, speaking of racism, be sure NOT to vote for the Natural Law Party. They’re not your grandpa’s Natural Law Party.

  10. Amanda
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I’d like to chime in on the judges– I wrote Mark and he suggested I post this… I totally am for Kuhnke…. But for the other seat I’d encourage you to support Tim Connors. I’ve had occasion to spend many hours in the last 15 months in his courtroom, as he was the judge presiding over the Brandy’s trial and hearings. Beyond the Brandys hearings, you sit in waiting for those and watch many other cases come forward– from family dispute over real estate, to really sad public health hazards in derelict property, to interpretations of zoning law, to student loans debt issues. I watched him for hours in these, and I have great respect for him as a judge. He was so very reasonable, down to earth, and fair. He didn’t take b.s from attorneys, he was sympathetic but yet reasonable when there was a lot of emotion, he recognized the merits to both sides of arguments. He really listened to the attorneys and considered their pleas, and even in these short hearings would take recesses to read the case law the attorneys were bringing up so he could really understand it– it was clear he didn’t have predetermined outcomes. In the most recent Brandys hearing he ruled against how I’d hoped he would, but I think his ruling was actually fair and the right one. I haven’t spent much other time in courtrooms ever, but I was just so surprised at how good he was, and feel that he’s the kind of judge I’d hope would be in every courtroom.

  11. Oliva
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Happy Election Day, everybody. Big gold star for Mark–thanks for all this good election thinking and writing–and caring.

    And please everybody–if you encounter anyone who says they think they’re not registered, ask if they voted two or four years ago, and if they did, PLEASE tell them they are registered and to please vote. We encountered a number of people the other day who were registered but had been told they had to re-register in order to vote today.

  12. Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

  13. Mr. X
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    For those of you voting in Ann Arbor, I’d recommend Jeremy Peter’s voting guide.

  14. karen
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    vote YES on the charter.

    a YES vote is a vote for steve pierce as you next mayor.

  15. Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    If any of you live in the 7th, vote for Richard Wunsch of the Greens.

    Tim Walberg is a likely win and Kurt Haskell is a faux Democrat.

  16. Knox
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    You apparently don’t know this audience very well, Karen, if you think that any of us will be more likely to vot

  17. Knox
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    cont.….more likely to vote for the Charter knowing that it will make a Pierce administration a more realistic possibility.

  18. Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    “And, speaking of racism, be sure NOT to vote for the Natural Law Party. They’re not your grandpa’s Natural Law Party.”


    The US Natural Law Party ceased to exist in 2004, but Michigan’s NLP has continued to operate and retained their ballot access. Some NLP candidates may be OK, but be cautioned and be careful to check them out first! Their Presidential nominee, Ross “Rocky” Anderson, seems reasonably good, with positions similar to what you’d see from a Green or a fairly progressive Democrat (e.g., Kucinich).

  19. anonymous
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Steve is done. I can forgive his employing a pedophile to do his bidding around town. Campaigning with a racist homophobe, however, is absolutely inexcusable. When you add to that his repeated lies, I don’t see how he could hope to win, regardless of whether we have nonpartisan elections. You need to find a new politician to push your agenda, Karen.

  20. Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    By the way, Mark, you could have saved yourself some time and just told people you’re voting a Democratic straight ticket on the partisan races.

  21. Facebook Stalker
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Someone on Facebook said the same thing, CM. Here’s Mark’s response.

    “Some of the races are nonpartisan, Jason. And, in at least one, there were two Dems running against one another. But, yes, in several instances I chose the only Dem running. It wasn’t without thought, though. I tried, as best that I could, to look at all the candidates.”

  22. Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Vote, folks. Remember — if your vote was worthless, millionaires wouldn’t spend so much money trying to buy it.

  23. kjc
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Ward 2 was incredibly backed up due to the step where they scan your ID into the computer. loads of empty voting booths, loads of backed up ballots, and one person on a computer bottlenecking the whole thing. why this computer step? the biggest delay seemed to be due to spoiled ballots. every time that happened, something had to be done in the computer, causing registration verification to stop. it was at a literal standstill, on both sides (precincts 1 and 3), for the first twenty minutes I was there because of a computer issue with one person.

  24. Meta
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Video of a man trying to vote for Obama on an electronic voting machine, only to have his vote flip to Romney.

    Here’s his story.

    I’m the guy who shot the video, hopefully this doesn’t get burried. You guys have questions, I have answers.

    My wife and I went to the voting booths this morning before work. There were 4 older ladies running the show and 3 voting booths that are similar to a science fair project in how they fold up. They had an oval VOTE logo on top center and a cartridge slot on the left that the volunteers used to start your ballot.

    I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney’s name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas’. From the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein’s button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.

    I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said “It’s nothing to worry about, everything will be OK.” and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.

    EDIT: There is a lot of speculation that the footage is edited. I’m not a video guy, but if it’s possible to prove whether a video has been altered or not, I will GLADLY provide the raw footage to anyone who is willing to do so. The jumping frames are a result of the shitty camera app on my Android phone, nothing more.

    EDIT2: I have been contacted by NBC Universal and BBC News.

    EDIT3: A lot of news agencies are now messaging me here. Please email instead.

  25. Posted November 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    KJC – I was there probably as you were posting your comment, and it was totally dead. No wait at all at any stage. My wife also had no wait about an hour ago. (We’re in 2-3, but of course 2-1 is on the other side of the same room.)

    I don’t know about this “scan your ID into the computer” thing, they weren’t doing that when I was there.

  26. kjc
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    cmadler: now i’m even more confused.

  27. kjc
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    maybe when i pointed to the computer and said to the workers “this is the problem” it magically went away?

  28. Bob
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I voted pretty much the same with a few exceptions. I just could not bring myself to vote for Debbie Stabenow. Had to leave it blank. I also couldn’t bring myself to vote for that creepy ambulance chaser Mark Bernstein.

  29. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Watch Prince William and Loudoun counties in Virginia. Polls close at 7. Obama won both counties in 2008. Romney has to win them to be on his way to victory. If he wins one, he may have a chance nationally. If he loses both, it indicates he’s gonna get whooped nationally.

  30. kjc
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    as for swiping your ID, i noticed RJ Spangler just posted this on FB:

    Here in St Clair Shores they tell people that “you must have a photo ID” which they then swipe your data. My friend challenged them & a poll official came over & corrected the woman that demanded ID & said that instead of showing ID, voters can sign their name. The other poll worker offered “well I didn’t know that!” they are discouraging votes!

  31. kjc
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    same issue in ann arbor:

    “The bottleneck appeared to be the single laptop a harried woman was using to verify voters’ ID.”


  32. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Obama has it. He’s already at 270 electoral votes without Ohio or Florida.

  33. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    …or Colorado or Nevada. He’ll most likely win all of those also, but it will take some time before final exit polls come in.

  34. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Democratic turnout is very good everywhere, and especially in Florida and Ohio where it matters most. Obama looks like he’s on his way to taking them both.

  35. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Obama in course to take over 332 electoral votes. Romney 206.

  36. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Obama is going to take a minimum of 332. North Carolina, which Obama was expected to lose is going to be razor close.

  37. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Obama will get a total of 347 electoral votes if he can take North carolina.

  38. Oliva
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    This is such good news. (Is it possible that the Dems could pick up a whole lot of House seats after all? And go, Elizabeth Warren, go!))

    Meant to write much earlier, in case anyone was inclined to vote no re. the pot initiative–I just think about so many nonwhite men cast as felons, losing the right to vote for varying amounts of time, all for a little weed. And I’m not saying anything readers here don’t already know about the grave imbalance in arrests for marijuana between whites and nonwhites. Hits home to me, as my incredibly dear nephew, and all who love him, went through some awful years just because of some pot. A very unjust situation.

  39. anonymous
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    pot is the only thing democrats and republicans have in common.

  40. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Obama looks to be winning the national popular vote easily.

  41. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Sandy does not appear to have impacted the vote in the affected states.

  42. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Obama is on course to take 332 to 347 electoral votes.

  43. Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    OK, Robert, email me your comments and I’ll put them on the front page. I just started a new thread on the election results.

  44. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Fox is first Network to call New Jersey for Obama.

  45. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    CBS is first to call GA,AL,MS,TN for Romney.

  46. anonymous
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Obama has basically won.

    Has anyone got info on MI ballot proposals?

  47. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t seen anything on ballot proposals yet.

  48. Stupid Hick
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    “I also couldn’t bring myself to vote for that creepy ambulance chaser Mark Bernstein.”

    I held my nose when I voted for Stabenow because Hoekstra must be defeated. But I couldn’t disagree more about Mark Bernstein. I don’t know him personally, but I know some who do, and I’ve heard only great things about him. He’s a champion of equal access for the disabled. He’s principled. He’s an archetypal “Michigan Man”. I hope he’s elected as a Regent, and I would vote for him if he ran for Governor.

  49. Saya
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Voting the straight party ticket: surprising; daring; intellectually sound. Critical examination at its best, people.

One Trackback

  1. […] Revision proposal lost in Ypsi 50.87% to 49.13%… I guess that means, among other things, we don’t have a Mayor Pierce administration to look forward to.11:33 I’m kind of shocked that Prop 2 was so close in Washtenaw County. I would have thought […]

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