Presidential primary turnout near 50 percent in the Pointes

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 17, 2016

 During the presidential primary March 8, Ohio Gov. John Kasich was the top Republican vote-getter in Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe City, Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Farms.

During the presidential primary March 8, Ohio Gov. John Kasich was the top Republican vote-getter in Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe City, Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Farms.

Photo by Sean Work

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GROSSE POINTES — Donald Trump might have been the big winner for the Republicans statewide, but in most of the Grosse Pointes, Ohio Gov. John Kasich was the frontrunner.

During the presidential primary March 8, Kasich was the top Republican vote-getter in Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe City, Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Farms, with Trump coming in second place. Trump was the victor in Grosse Pointe Shores, but it was a close race. In the Wayne County portion of the Shores — the largest section of the city — Trump garnered 367 votes to Kasich’s 337 votes, according to unofficial tallies available at press time. In the Macomb County portion of the Shores, Kasich was the winner, with 14 votes to Trump’s 11 votes.

On the Democratic ticket, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the highest vote-getter in the Wayne County portion of Grosse Pointe Shores, beating Sen. Bernie Sanders, the statewide winner, but in the Macomb County segment of the city, Sanders won, receiving three votes to Clinton’s two votes. Clinton was also the winner in Grosse Pointe City and Woods. Sanders was the leader in the Park and the Farms.

The hotly contested primary is said to have attracted strong turnout across Michigan, and that was certainly true in the Pointes, where turnout on average tends to be higher than it is in many other municipalities. In Grosse Pointe City, 48.18 percent of the city’s 4,585 registered voters took part in the primary, with almost 64 percent voting on the Republican side. Farms City Clerk Derrick Kozicki said by email that turnout there was also “relatively high,” with 49.76 percent of registered voters casting ballots; about 70 percent of those were cast for Republican candidates.

In the Shores, 47 percent of the 2,339 registered voters in the Wayne County section voted, while in the Macomb County portion, 62 percent of the 60 registered voters cast ballots during the primary. That’s substantially higher than the roughly 27 percent of registered voters who took part in the November 2015 mayoral and City Council election.

“We had a whopping 47 percent turnout, which I thought was great, considering how many candidates dropped out (by the time of the Michigan primary),” Shores Election Administer Tom Krolczyk said by email. “Our residents always come out and vote. Other communities should consider us an example.”

The turnout percentage was almost as high in the Park, where 46.48 percent of the city’s 9,595 registered voters made their way to the polls. Once a Republican stronghold, the Park is now more evenly split politically, with just over 52 percent of voters opting for the Republican ballot and 47.94 percent selecting the Democratic ballot.

“Election day was extremely busy,” Grosse Pointe Park City Clerk Jane Blahut said via email. “Throughout the day, there were lines of people waiting to vote. We had a … turnout which was higher than we anticipated. We succeeded through the day with only a few minor issues, so overall the election was a success.”

According to the Grosse Pointe Woods website, www.gpwmi.us, 61.8 percent of the city’s 13,438 registered voters headed to the polls March 8.

On the Republican side, Kasich received the most votes with 1,647, while Trump finished second with 1,593 votes.

In the Democratic race, Clinton garnered the most votes with 1,312. Sanders finished second with 1,190 votes.

Statewide, more than 2.5 million people cast ballots in the presidential primary, according to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.

With the August primary and the presidential election in November, voters will have more opportunities to voice their opinions about the candidates at the ballot box. 

“Residents can find out if they’re registered to vote for future elections by visiting www.mi.gov/vote,” Kozicki said by email.

Staff Writer Maria Allard contributed to this report.

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