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Washtenaw County Director Of Elections Reflects On Primary Day With An Eye Towards The Future

Mar 11, 2020

Washtenaw County director of elections Ed Golembiewski
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

A large number of Washtenaw County voters took advantage of Michigan's new, no-reason absentee voting for the March 10th election.  Results were tabulated more quickly that anticipated, and lessons were learned for the elections still to come in 2020.  Washtenaw County director of elections Ed Golembiewski gives his perspective in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair.


All the ballots have been counted, and the presidential primary elections in Michigan are in the books.  Statewide, Biden earned 53-percent of the Democratic vote, while Bernie Sanders managed just over 36-percent.  In Washtenaw County, it was closer with Biden beating Sanders by 2,711 votes, or about two-and-a-half-percentage points. 

With new election laws in place, absentee voting was significantly higher than in 2016 and same-day registration and voting made a difference at some of the clerks' offices in the county.  Based on how the days voting and ballot counting went, county elections director Ed Golembiewski says valuable lessons were learned for upcoming elections.  Overall turnout in Washtenaw County was just under 40-percent.  That's about on par with the 2016 primary.  But, new registrations, voter interest, and new election laws lead him to believe there will be high, if not record-setting, turnout for the November general election in Washtenaw County. 

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu