Blue and yellow dots serve as markers to indicate appropriate social distance between voters standing in line at Kenwood Elementary School in Clawson Nov. 3.

Blue and yellow dots serve as markers to indicate appropriate social distance between voters standing in line at Kenwood Elementary School in Clawson Nov. 3.

Photo by Tiffany Esshaki


Clawson school board write-in race to be determined by county

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published November 4, 2020

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CLAWSON — By approximately 10:30 p.m. Nov. 3, the city of Clawson tallied 100% of absentee ballots and ballots received at its six precincts throughout the 2.2-square-mile city, and sent its unofficial election results on to Oakland County.

The race for three four-year terms on the Clawson Public Schools Board of Education was a topic of interest, with two incumbents officially running for reelection and no other names on the ballot. President Kimberley Carlesimo and Secretary Michael Frink earned 3,906 votes and 3,173 votes, respectively.

Incumbent Trustee Jessica Back opted not to run for reelection. Her term concludes Dec. 31, 2020. In a prior interview with C & G Newspapers, Back said she felt it was time for her to move on and let other people serve.

Three Clawson residents and parents of students in the district filed to run as write-in candidates for the third, open school board term in October: Matthew Ball, Angela Hamilton and BT Irwin.

According to unofficial election results, Clawson voters cast 906 votes for unassigned write-ins. Interim Clawson City Clerk Machele Kukuk said her office’s job is to record and submit ballots, and Oakland County would announce which write-in candidates received the most votes.

Kukuk said county canvassers have a timeframe of so many days to announce the official election results.

“We had the highest absentee voter turnout that I’ve ever seen,” she said. “We issued 5,002 ballots and got a return of 4,848, which was pretty good.”

The number of absentee ballots in this election more than tripled the number of absentee ballots in the last presidential election, Kukuk said.

Overall, the city had a voter turnout of 78% of its just under 10,000 registered voters.

“It was the highest voter turnout I can remember since 2016, when we had 80%,” Kukuk said. “I thought for sure we’d have higher than that, but you never can call it. We were busy all day. It was a steady day, but it went really smoothly with no complaints.”

She added that residents and election workers followed public health protocols and stayed safe and calm throughout the day.

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