89.1 WEMU

2020 Elections

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Washtenaw County voters approved both countywide millage proposals that appeared on yesterday’s primary election ballot.  

Winning more than 60 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary race for Ann Arbor City Council, Jen Eyer beat incumbent Jack Eaton and will face no opposition on the ballot in November.  She talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about what she hopes will happen when she joins several other new city council members early next year.

Washtenaw County commissioner Felicia Brabec won the primary election to be the Democratic candidate for the 55th state house seat in the November election.  She talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about what she hopes to accomplish if she wins the race in November facing off against Republican Bob Baird.

Linh Song won the Democratic primary election for the Ann Arbor 2nd ward city council seat and faces no opposition on the November ballot.  She talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about the election and says she is grateful for the opportunity to represent Ann Arbor.

Tuesday's primary election was different.  Legal no-reason absentee voting was going to change things on its own.  Add in a pandemic, and the changes become greater.  Washtenaw County director of elections Ed Golembiewski spoke with WEMU's David Fair about how smoothly the election went and how it informs what needs to happen for the November general election. 

Tuesday's primary election saw two countywide tax issues win voter approval.  One for road funding and  non-motorized paths, the other to help fund the Washtenaw County Soil Conservation District.  Both millages passed by about a 3-1 margin.  In a post-election edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discussed the benefits and outcomes with Washtenaw County Commissioner Andy LaBarre. 

All five of the city council candidates endorsed by Mayor Christopher Taylor won on Tuesday night.  In the process, three incumbents are out after the November general election.  Mayor Taylor joined  WEMU's David Fair to discuss the races and moving the city forward with new faces around the council table. 

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton will not face a Republican challenger in November after winning his Democratic primary race on Tuesday.  Sheriff Clayton joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the win and the forward-looking plans to address law enforcement and community relations. 

In a three-way, Democratic primary race, the incumbent Washtenaw County Clerk/Register of Deeds defeated his opponents by a wide margin.  Lawrence Kestenbaum now faces a Republican challenger in the general election.  Kestenbaum joined WEMU's David Fair to make his case for reelection. 

Washtenaw County's primary election had a three-way, Democratic race for county prosecutor.  City of Detroit legal counsel and University of Michigan law school lecturer Eli Savit came out on top and will not face Republican opposition in the November general election.  Savit discussed the win and his plans for the moving the prosecutor's office forward with WEMU's David Fair. 

Jocelyn Benson
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says Tuesday’s primary elections were by and large a success.  But she says the November election will be a much bigger challenge.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

Beverly Mihalko
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

After being advised by doctors and public health officials to stay home for the past several months due to the pandemic, voting day may mean some people will need to go out to cast a ballot or turn in an absentee ballot if they didn't mail it back in time.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Eastern Michigan University professor and epidemiologist Dr. Beverly Mihalko about what risks, if any, there are to our health by doing this.

Wiki Commons

If you requested an absentee ballot for Tuesday's primary election and have not received it, you still have another option to vote today.  

Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

Tomorrow is the primary election day, and the new academic school year is right around the corner.  Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss safety precautions and preparations with the uncertainty it brings in the midst of a pandemic.  

Ken Magee
Ken Magee

Tuesday is primary election day.  Incumbent Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton is being challenged in the Democratic primary by Ken Magee.  Magee has a long career in law enforcement, including a stint as Chief of Police at the University of Michigan.  Magee joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss his candidacy and changes he would like to make, if elected. 

Ballot Box
FutUndBeidl / flickr.com

Don’t wait.  Drop off your ballot in person.  It’s too late to put it in the mail if you want it to be counted.  That’s the advice elections officials are giving voters in advance of Tuesday’s primaries.  It’s expected a record number of votes will be cast via absentee ballot.  Rick Pluta reports on how the 2020 primary is shaping up to be a unique experiment in the future of voting.

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Election clerks across Washtenaw County recommend hand delivery of absentee ballots to their offices if they have not been mailed yet for Tuesday's primary election.  

Turn Up Turnout

With days before next Tuesday’s primary election, the University of Michigan’s nonpartisan group Turn Up Turnout continues to encourage students to vote.  

Ypsilanti Township

The Civic Center building in Ypsilanti Township will only be open for election purposes next Tuesday. 

Libertarian Party
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Today is the deadline for the Michigan Libertarian Party to submit its slate of candidates for the November ballot to state election officials.  As Rick Pluta tells us, the Libertarians held a nominating convention this past weekend in Gaylord.

City of Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor’s city council will discuss Monday night placing an affordable housing millage proposal on the November general election ballot.  

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The Washtenaw County Elections Department says all of its 150 voting precincts will offer in-person voting for the August 4th primary election.  

Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners is considering adding a public health and seniors millage proposal on the November ballot.  

A new survey reveals that 77% of voters in Ann Arbor would support an affordable housing millage if it appeared on a local ballot.  


The petition campaign to add LGBTQ protections to Michigan’s civil rights law was granted an extension to continue gathering signatures.  Rick Pluta reports the Wednesday ruling came from a state Court of Claims judge.

The Washtenaw County Elections Department is offering a new service on their website for voters interested in voting absentee.  

The Washtenaw County Elections Department says they could see a shortage of poll workers for the August state primary election due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

The Washtenaw County Elections Department expects to see an increase in absentee voters for the August state primary election because of the coronavirus pandemic.

An April 21st filing deadline is approaching for candidates in Washtenaw County who want to appear on the August primary ballot.  


Concerns over the coronavirus are prompting some local governments to postpone ballot proposals they had scheduled for the upcoming May 5th election.