What you need to know before heading to the ballot box

WCC's parking structure exterior - sideIvan Flores
Staff Writer


This Tuesday, Michigan voters have the chance to tell the nation who they want to see as the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees. 25 to 30 percent of registered Washtenaw County voters are expected to participate in the primary.

There’s more on the ballot than the presidential candidates. Edward Golembiewski, director of elections for Washtenaw County, provided information about the ballot details.


The Ballots

Michigan is having a closed primary. This means that there are three types of ballots: Republican, Democratic, and one that contains only local proposals. Because there is no pre-registration in Michigan, voters must declare what type of ballot they want, and this decision will be a matter of public record. The state will keep track of who votes with a Democratic or a Republican ballot, and this information can be accessible to anyone. However, the information is not posted anywhere, and the candidate that an individual votes for remains confidential.

Open primaries are different. The ballots in an open primary contain both Democratic and Republican candidates on a single ballot, along with any other local issues up for a vote.


The Candidates 

The ballot was finalized in December, and Michigan law prohibits changes after the deadline. As a result, the names of candidates who have dropped out will appear on the ballots.


Dropped nominees :


Jeb Bush

Ben Carson

Chris Christie

Carly Fiorina

Lindsey Graham

Mike Huckabee

Bobby Jindal

George Pataki

Rand Paul

Rick Santorum



Martin J. O’Malley


Nominees in the running:


Ted Cruz

John Kasich

Marco Rubio

Donald Trump



Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders


The Proposals

There are three millage renewals proposed: one for the entire county, one for Pittsfield Charter Township, and one for Clinton Community Schools. A millage is another term for tax. These taxes are levied on homes and other real estate.

The county-wide millage renewal would fund emergency communication infrastructure. It’s a 0.2 mill tax. That’s 20 cents per every $1,000 of taxable value. The millage would be in place for those years. It’s expected to raise about $30 million over 10 years. The money would be used to maintain and upgrade 911 dispatch centers, and radio equipment for police, fire, and ambulance agencies, among others.  (See related story on A….)

Pittsfield Charter Township residents vote on a proposal to renew a tax for maintaining, developing and acquiring parks and recreational facilities. The millage represents $0.4855 (a tax of about 48 cents) per $1,000 of taxable value. If approved, the tax would be in effect for 10 years. The expected revenue for 2016, the first year, is $849,464.

The millage renewal for Clinton Community Schools would provide additional operating funding for the school district that takes in parts of Washtenaw and Lenawee counties. The millage represents a tax of $18 for every $1,000 of taxable valuation and would last through 2016. The estimated revenue is  $947,703.



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