TUESDAY, Nov. 7 — Despite early voting and absentee voting options, some voters still said they preferred making the trek out to their physical polling places.
“It’s just easy for me to shoot over here when I’m running errands,” said Jason Fleming, an East Lansing voter who cast his vote at the Hannah Community Center around noon. “I voted absentee before, and it was great during COVID because it was pretty convenient.”
Fleming said, though, that he could see how others might forget to go cast their ballot.
“It’s one of those things where it’s easy to lose track of the time. Unless it’s a presidential or governor election, you forget, ‘Oh, today’s voting day,’ sometimes, even though there’s signs everywhere. I didn’t think about until I woke up today. I looked at my calendar, saw it was the 7th, and went to go vote,” Fleming said.
Lansing voter Will Corbett said he hasn’t ever considered voting early or via mail.
“I don’t know how to vote any other way,” Corbett said. “I did not know about early voting; I just haven’t looked into it. It just seems easier to me to vote in person.”
Another Lansing voter, who asked to be identified only as Chuck, said he chose to vote in person at Johnson Fieldhouse, 400 N. Pennsylvania Ave., because he was concerned with the election system.
“I just don’t like the fraud. There’s been a lot of it that’s been reported lately. You can see it in the videos, people stuffing ballot boxes,” he said. “I’d like everybody to vote on the same day. That just makes the most sense to me.”
Anne Meermans voted in person at the Hannah Community Center for the convenience.
“I don’t live that far from here, and also I had a humor class at the Prime Time Senior Program that I go to at 11,” Meermans said.
“I have voted by mail once, and will again as I get older,” she added.
As voters filed in and out of the Hannah Community Center, Stan Kaplowitz was out front unlocking his bicycle. He didn’t vote today, he said, because he chose to file his absentee ballot yesterday.
“It’s just little bit more convenient,” Kaplowitz said.
Before he went on with his day, Kaplowitz offered his take on East Lansing’s voter activity.
“I think this was a high interest city election because of the fact that the city government has not been in great shape recently,” he said. “I probably haven’t followed it as much as certain other times to make the comparison, but I’d say it’s probably drawn more interest than the average. We’ll see what the turnout will be compared to the past.”
Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope described today's election as "calm, mild and a low turnout."
"As of 11 a.m., the precincts are seeing about 1% of their registered voters. So I think we're on track to be between 17 to 20%,” Swope said, adding that those numbers are "about what we expect” for a local, off-year election. That includes absentee and early voting.
In Lansing, voters still have till 8 p.m. will choose two at-large City Council members among Tamera Carter, Missy Lilje, Jody Washington and Trini Lopez Pehlivanoglu. Those in the 1st Ward can pick between incumbent Ryan Kost and newcomer Michael VandeGuchte. 3rd Ward voters will choose between incumbent Adam Hussain and newcomer King Robertson. Lansing voters will also vote yes or no on a question asking if the city should initiate a general charter revision.
East Lansing voters also have till 8 to tap three of eight candidates for City Council from Erik Altmann, Daniel Bollman, Kerry Ebersole Singh, Noel Garcia Jr., Rebecca Kasen, Mark Meadows, Joshua Ramirez-Roberts and Christopher Wardell. They’ll also make some big decisions on a trio of ballot measures. One would expand the City Council from five to seven members. Another would delay the date when newly elected Council members take up the office to meet state requirements. The third would implement ranked-choice voting “in the event that the Michigan Bureau of Elections certifies the process.”
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