Cities saw typical turnouts for local elections

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published November 15, 2017

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OAKLAND COUNTY — The 2017 election has passed, and cities in the Woodward Talk’s coverage area saw what local officials said were typical voter turnouts.

In Ferndale, out of a possible 15,528 registered voters, 1,619 came to the polls Nov. 7, a 10.4 percent turnout. City Clerk Marne McGrath said the turnout was lower than usual, but not surprising.

“Because there were no contested offices, sometimes people don’t bother to vote,” she said.

Berkley had 2,320 voters show up to the polls out of a registered 12,404, an 18.7 percent turnout.

City Clerk Annette Boucher said the city normally will have a 17-25 percent turnout in a local election like this. As this wasn’t a gubernatorial or presidential election, she said local elections typically don’t get a big turnout.

“It’s because it was a local election,” she said. “It wasn’t a full load of any sort on there. It’s mayor and council, so it doesn’t get as much attention as the presidential (election).”

For Huntington Woods, 1,779 out of a possible 5,327 registered voters came to the polls. This amounted to a 33 percent turnout.

Looking back at the 2015 election, which had a mayoral race on the ballot, City Clerk Joy Solanskey said the city had a 49 percent turnout.

“This one was definitely lighter,” she said. “It wasn’t any lighter than I would’ve expected. We did have people coming in fairly regularly, but there were certainly no lines, and you might have five minutes between each voter.”

The smallest of the cities, Pleasant Ridge, had 1,038 residents vote out of a registered 2,351 voters, a 44 percent turnout.

“We normally average about 50 percent for most of our larger elections anyway,” City Clerk Amy Drealan said. “In 2015, which was a City Commission race, it was 24 percent turnout. In 2013, which was a mayor and City Commission race, it was a 52 percent turnout. And we had 44 (percent) this time. So we run on average 50 percent. So we do really well.”

She added, “I think we have a pretty engaged community, and I think we do well with voter turnout.”