This is it, Michigan. Vote as if your life depends on it… Because it does.

In the 2016 presidential election, 63% of eligible voters in Michigan cast their ballots. The total number of voters that year was 4,874,619. And, as we know, Donald Trump won the state with the slimmest of margins. Just 10,704 votes — a mere 0.23% of the votes cast — decided which candidate we’d give our electoral votes to, and we went down in history, along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as one of the three states that handed Donald Trump the presidency. [Trump took our three states with a razor thin margin of just 79,646 votes.]

So you know how important it is that you vote this year, right? And, if you read this site regularly, you know what’s at stake. So let’s focus on voting, and what we can all do to help increase Democratic turnout for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Because it’s up to us — the American people — right now. As the Washington Post printed in their editorial today, “We kept counting on others to save us — our institutions, our political leaders, our courts — but help never arrived… Now all we have left is the people. The voters, for all their failings, may prove more trustworthy than their supposed guardians.

OK, so here are the facts as we know them today. As of this past Tuesday, more than 3.1 million Michigan voters had requested absentee ballots, but only about 2.1 million had returned them. And, as of yesterday, according to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, that number had risen to 2.8 million. And, if my conversations with voters yesterday, as I went door-to-door talking with people, are any indication, that number is going to be significantly higher today. [A lot of people told me yesterday that they’d just dropped off their ballots.]

So, this brings us to the first important point of this post. If you requested an absentee ballot, but haven’t returned it yet, do not do so by mail. Instead, either put it in an official ballot drop box, or take it to the office of your city or township clerk. This is incredibly important. Members of the Trump administration have signaled that they will attempt to claim victory on election night, if they are ahead, before all of the mailed absentee ballots are counted. So, if you still have a ballot, don’t return it by mail. If you want to be absolutely sure that your vote counts, take it to drop box, or your clerk’s office.

If you’re in Michigan, you can find your closest official ballot drop box, by searching here. Here, however, are the addresses for the three that are here in Ypsilanti. All of them are accessible 24 hours a day up until Election Day. [It’s not clear to me when these boxes will be collected. I suspect, however, you should be able to use them through the end of the day on Monday. After that, you’ll have to go to your clerk’s office.]

– 1 South Huron (behind Ypsilanti City Hall)

– 900 Oakwood (outside the EUM Student Center)

– 591 Armstrong (outside the Parkridge Community Center)

If you want to drop off your absentee ballot on Election Day in Michigan, it will have to go to the office of your city or township clerk. You can find the address of your clark’s office here, but here’s the information for our clerk here in the City of Ypsilanti.

City Clerk: Andrew Hellenga
Address: One South Huron Street
Phone: (734) 483-1100

I believe, from what I’ve read, that clerks’ offices will be open to accept ballots until 8:00 PM on Election Day. As Hellenga’s office usually closes at 5:00 PM on Tuesdays, though, I’d contact him ahead of time to confirm, if you’re planning to drop your ballot between 5:00 and 8:00. [Detroit Free Press: “The Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that voters must return absentee ballots to their clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order for their vote to count.”]

The thing is, we’re likely to get fucked on absentee ballots. As I noted earlier, we have every reason to believe that, if Trump appears to be up on election night, he’ll declare victory, and not allow mailed ballots to be counted. [It seems to be the consensus that mailed ballots will be disproportionately anti-Trump.] And, as we know, the administration has used its political appointees to disassemble the U.S. Postal Service from the inside in hopes of limiting the impact of mailed ballots. A U.S. District Court judge just recently ordered that the Postal Service speed up ballot delivery in Detroit, but we have no idea what that will mean in practice, and just how long it might take ballots put in the mail in Detroit tomorrow to be delivered and counted. [You can be sure that Trump will do everything in his power to ensure that mailed Detroit ballots aren’t counted.]

One more thing, if you are planning to vote in person on Tuesday, have a plan. Find your polling place online, know your rights, and write down your plan. Know exactly where you need to be, and have everything you need, in case there’s a wait. Have you ID, a mask, an umbrella, food, water, etc. Get it ready now, and put it by the door. And don’t let anything stop you from going out. Oh, and don’t worry if you asked for an absentee ballot and didn’t send it back in. You can still show up at your polling place on Tuesday and vote in person.

One last thing… It’s not too late to register, if you’ve yet to do so. Don’t sit this election out. I get that you may have been too busy, or too depressed, to get out and register, but you owe it to your kids, your parents, your ancestors, and our future generation to get out and do it. According to Michigan law, you can still register to vote up until 8:00 PM on November 3. So there’s no excuse not to get down to your clerk’s office on Monday or Tuesday and get registered. If we’re going to defeat Trumpism, and save our nation, this is our last chance, and we’re going to need every single person to step up and make a stand. Oh, and, according to what I’ve found online, you can vote right at the clerk’s office if you register on Election Day.

For what it’s worth, it would appear that Michiganders are siding with Biden, and his vision for America. According to a recent poll by Siena College and the New York Times, Biden is leading in Michigan by 8 points. And, according to the most recent Emerson College poll Biden’s up by 7 points. Again, it won’t mean anything if ballots aren’t counted, or if Democratic voters are driven away from their polling places by armed Trump supporters looking to intimidate Biden voters, but, in a fair and honest election, it looks as though Biden would win Michigan easily. Sadly, though, that’s not the situation we now find ourselves in. Trump, to be sure, will fight to stay in power, and avoid facing responsibility for his actions. And there’s no reason to believe that concern for the future of nation will keep him from engaging in rhetoric that brings us to civil war. The only way we can stop it is to vote in overwhelming numbers, and make it clear to him and his Republican enablers, that there’s no way to lie and cheat their way into another term. So, with that, I have one last suggestion. Call everyone you know, and urge them to vote on Tuesday, especially if they live in swing states like Texas, Florida and Ohio. If you can get just one person to the polls who might not have gone otherwise, it could make a tremendous difference.

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  1. Posted November 1, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Our county clerk has said on his FB page that they expect to have all of the absentee ballots counted on election night! This is the official statement which doesn’t include that but even so, I think Washtenaw County will have good honest results soon enough that Trump can’t try any shenanigans with our county’s results at least!

  2. Jean Henry
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Do not trust the polls. I’ve heard that internal Biden polls show a much closer race here. Lastly we must be on watch for procedural delays in counting including court challenges from the GOP that would last long enough to through electoral representation to the legislative branch here in MI as well as in PA and other split gift states. Trump has been targeting these states in his speeches falsely claiming fraudulent elections to prep his supporters to justify and accept a GOP hijacking of the electoral process.

    Does anyone here want to Continue to question that populism can be and usually is a dangerous (And very effective) political strategy?

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    *throw not through…

  4. Jean Henry
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    * Gov’t not gift

  5. Posted November 2, 2020 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Bob Bauer, Biden campaign legal adviser, talked to John Heilemann about election integrity. #TheCircus

  6. Posted November 2, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    A pretty good article on the chaos that is the election in my Ward 1 in Ypsi.

  7. Posted November 2, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I thought SNL had a good bit that includes some bits about Dems trusting polls

  8. iRobert
    Posted November 2, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I just got an automated threatening phone call. This is the level of ethics we can expect from Trumpanzees. They’re hero has no ethics, so they naturally don’t.

  9. Posted November 2, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I admit it, if I were in Ward 1, I would vote for Lois. Then let the chips fall where they may in terms of who is mayor and who is the Ward 1 councilperson.

  10. Posted November 2, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Trumps busy barricading his bunker. He knows that people are not going to take kindly to his declaration of victory tomorrow night.

  11. Posted November 2, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Care of David Reynolds–this seems worth sharing

    As a swing state we may experience troubles at the polls as Trump activists may attempt to slow or interfere with the election process. The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice has an election day hotline for Washtenaw County and surrounding areas. They can dispatch trained teams to keep folks entertained and provisioned in long lines and to de-escalate situations in which calling armed police is not the best response. They are also networked with groups statewide who will be protecting our election’s integrity.
    Call: 855-868-3311.

  12. Posted November 2, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Stanford study links Trump rallies to 30,000 COVID-19 cases, 700 deaths

  13. Posted November 2, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    death cult crazies attempting to disrupt processing ballots in Detroit.

  14. Posted November 3, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Lynne and JH, please note how your hero Mueller decided not to prosecute Assange or Wikileaks over the DNC “hack”, because he could find no EVIDENCE that they were involved in the theft. We saw last week how the Steele dossier was the product of a disgruntled Russian PR hack who had a friend who worked for Steele. None of the scandals that the MSM focused on for 4 years were real. Instead the obvious corruption of Trump et al was ignored in favor of fantasies spun by the “intelligence community” which clearly has the agenda of conflict with Russia. If there had not been four years of spin about Russiagate, perhaps people would have taken Ukrainegate more seriously. Continued believe in fantasies will doom us. Reality 19+ years of continuous war. Reality anthropogenic climate change will soon be beyond the scope of human mitigation capabilities. Reality the covid epidemic is out of control in the US.
    Reality is hard–but don’t be like Trumpers believing in fantasies while there is the hard hard work of solving our very real problems.

  15. Posted November 3, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Wobblie, I just don’t have the energy to indulge anyone in a discussion of their conspiracy theories today. Sorry.

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 3, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink


  17. iRobert
    Posted November 3, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie, is there anything you can think of that might be a better use of your time today?

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted November 3, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie— are you under the impression that either Lynne or I ignore the hard hard work of solving our very real problems ?’ Just because we don’t agree with all your solutions doesn’t mean we are ignoring or underestimating anything.

    You might actually be the least democratic (small d) person in this forum that includes so many supporters of a real tyrant.

    Ps the Mueller report was inconclusive but it was also warranted and necessary. Do you really believe it should never have been investigated? Why do you think you are right about so many things that no one knows for sure?

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted November 3, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I stand by my personal conspiracy theory that it’s Jared Kushner who is the Russian asset.

    Miniseries to come to a streaming site near you soon.

  20. iRobert
    Posted November 3, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Polls are about to close in most of Indiana and eastern Kentucky. The results from suburban Indianapolis should give us some hints about how the rest of the evening will go.

  21. iRobert
    Posted November 3, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Polls are closed now in most of Indiana and eastern Kentucky.

    If Biden has done considerably better with suburban Indianapolis voters than Clinton did in 2016, that’s very likely the case in suburban Detroit, Philadelphia and other key metrics as well.

  22. iRobert
    Posted November 3, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    “metros” not “metrics”

    12,530 Michigan voters did same day registration and voting today. -Newsweek

    Margin last time was 10,704 votes. These might be Trumpers.

  23. Posted November 3, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    JH, The moment Mueller was appointed it was clear that nothing good would come from that investigation. It has taken the NY AG, and the Manhattan DA to go after Trumps true criminality. Everything about Russiagate is kabuki theater. That is what I was saying when Mueller was appointed, and the results pretty much jived with that analysis. I’m pretty stupid, after all you are the one who labeled me a dolt. I don’t disagree. But when you are a dolt, you learn to pay attention to smart folks with credibility. The “intelligence community” has zero credibility. Unnamed anonymous sources have zero credibility.

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