High in-person voter turnout seen in Grosse Pointes

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 15, 2022

 Grosse Pointe Farms Election Official Claudia Gostine assists voters at Precinct 5 at Brownell Middle School on Election Day.

Grosse Pointe Farms Election Official Claudia Gostine assists voters at Precinct 5 at Brownell Middle School on Election Day.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

GROSSE POINTES — Although voters can now cast absentee ballots without needing to provide an excuse, that didn’t keep scores of voters from showing up on Election Day Nov. 8 in the Grosse Pointes.

“It’s been excellent,” election official Claudia Gostine said inside Brownell Middle School in the Farms, home of Precinct 5. “It’s been double what we normally see. … Some are choosing to come in rather than file their absentee ballot.”

Grosse Pointe Shores Election Administrator Tom Krolczyk observed the same trend.

“Voters really turned out,” Krolczyk said on election night, shortly before the polls closed. “We didn’t see it as that big of an (in-person) election because we did so many AVs (absentee ballots). But (voters) have been coming in all day.”

High turnout was recorded across the Pointes. In Grosse Pointe Woods, 70.55% of the city’s 14,454 registered voters cast ballots. In Grosse Pointe Farms, 70.18% of the city’s 9,313 registered voters participated in the election. Of Grosse Pointe City’s 5,185 registered voters, 68.22% cast ballots. For the Wayne County portion of Grosse Pointe Shores — which encompasses the majority of the city — roughly 72% of the 2,420 voters cast ballots. And in the tiny Macomb County portion of the Shores, a whopping 85% — 56 of the 66 registered voters — took part in the election. That’s well above the Wayne County average of 45.73% of registered voters who cast ballots.

“Considering that it’s not a presidential (race), it’s the biggest November election I’ve ever seen,” said Grosse Pointe Shores Assistant Election Administrator Lynn Michaux, who has worked for the city for 14 years.

In the Pointes, absentee ballots accounted for roughly half of all the completed ballots.

“The line (of voters) began at quarter to 7 (a.m.),” said Steve Trowbridge, an election official for Precincts 1 and 2 at Maire Elementary School in Grosse Pointe City. “It was out the door probably for an hour or more.”

Trowbridge said there were a handful of slower moments during the day, but those were few and far between, as voters steadily streamed inside.

JeDonna Dinges, of Grosse Pointe Woods, a school board candidate, said she saw crowds at all the polls she visited on Election Day.

“It’s been super busy,” said Dinges as she campaigned at Windmill Pointe Park in Grosse Pointe Park. “I love seeing the young people come out to vote. There’s been some first-time voters.”

Democrat Shri Thanedar, of Detroit, easily won election to the newly created 13th Congressional District, which includes the Grosse Pointes. Other candidates who vied for this seat included Republican Martell D. Bivings, U.S. Taxpayers Party member Chris Dardzinski and Working Class party member Simone R. Coleman.

Democrat Kevin Hertel, of St. Clair Shores, will represent the Pointes in the Michigan Senate, having won election to the newly created 12th District State Senate seat, defeating Republican Pamela Hornberger.

Wayne County Commissioner Tim Killeen, D-Detroit — whose 1st District includes all five Grosse Pointes, Harper Woods and a portion of Detroit — was reelected to another term, defeating Republican challenger John Barry Anderson. According to unofficial vote tallies available at press time from the Wayne County Clerk’s Office, Killeen received just over 73% of the vote.