Some Troy voters cast handwritten ballots

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published August 8, 2018

Voters in some precincts in Troy cast handwritten ballots due to the unprecedented number of voters who turned out for the Aug. 7 primary election.

The unofficial Troy voter turnout was 36 percent, compared to 22 percent voter turnout in the 2014 gubernatorial primary. 

Troy City Clerk Aileen Dickson said that in some precincts voters may have experienced up to an hour wait, but she had not heard of any voters who did not cast a ballot who had wished to do so.

“We ordered a maximum amount of ballots from the county,” Dickson said. “Our ballot supply wasn’t sufficient. It (shortage) wasn’t every precinct and not every polling location. Every person that stayed in the precinct voted in some way … extra ballots ordered from the county, printed from the Troy City Clerk’s Office, and voters hand-wrote ballots.”

Dickson said that she and staff from the Troy City Clerk’s Office planned to work with the Oakland County Board of Canvassers to “make sure the ballots are counted.”

Dickson said she visited every precinct throughout the day, and all had a steady turnout, ramping up throughout the day.

“Some precincts were not even close to running out of ballots,” she said.

However, by 4 p.m. Dickson began to become concerned and to formulate contingency plans, which were not sufficient to meet the demand for the after-work voters.

“The bright spot is that there was a huge turnout. It’s incredible to see that many people turn out for a primary that usually doesn’t get that much attention,” Dickson said.

A larger number of Troy voters cast absentee ballots this year than in the 2014 gubernatorial primary. In 2014, approximately 5,000 absentee ballots were cast; approximately 6,300 absentee voter ballots were cast in this year’s primary.

Republican candidate Doug Tietz, Oakland County commissioner for District 11, will face Democrat Padma Kuppa for a seat in the state House of Representatives’ District 41 after Tietz edged out Troy City Councilman Ethan Baker in the primary election.

Republican Martin Howrylak currently holds this seat and is term limited.

According to unofficial results, Tietz garnered 4,882 votes, or 47.55 percent; Baker received 4,521 votes, or 44.03 percent; and Ronald Dwyer received 845 votes, or 8.23 percent. This totals 10,268 Republican votes cast, to Kuppa’s 10,330 votes in the uncontested Democratic  race.