All year long, West Bloomfield Patch has tried to provide residents in the Greater West Bloomfield area with what they wanted to know in order to make their best decision at the general election Nov. 6.
On Tuesday, we bounced from precinct to precinct all over Metro Detroit. Here's what happened.
<12 a.m.> "This election was the biggest ever in my time as Clerk," said an exhausted Cathy Shaughnessy finishing up tallying election results.
No kidding. West Bloomfield residents turned out at a total rate of 74.66 percent, including 37,866 ballots cast from 50,721 registered voters. Most of those physically went to the polls on election day: 22,251 voters visited a precinct, while 15,615 turned in absentee ballots.
<8 p.m.> The polls have closed in the Greater West Bloomfield area and throughout Michigan.
While you wait for results, how about a little levity? Check out what these two Patch bloggers had to say about the election in new posts on Patch:
- Finally—My Phone Won't Ring!
- A Little Voting Levity
<5:30 p.m.> The chilly air and early nightfall did not stop two family members of judge candidates from sticking it out in the quest to win votes at Orchard Lake Middle School. Both had been out since 7 a.m., save for a lunch break, and were not ready to stop until the polls closed.
Leo Leytes said that he had begun campaigning for his brother-in-law, 48th District Court judge candidate Josh Arnkoff, as soon as Arnkoff announced his plan to challenge incumbent Diane D'Agostini. "I told him, I'm all yours. Everywhere I go, I talk with people. It's refreshing and it's fun," Leytes said.
Jennile Oram has campaigned for her cousin, D'Agostini, for the past 16 years in various election cycles. She said that he had to hire a babysitter to care for her son, but did not mind. "It's a given at this point. I was prepared and I knew what to expect heading here. It's all worth it. ... she's a genuine, fair person and she'll be a great judge."
The two have an added bonus: on top of the camaraderie they were able to share being out together for hours on end in sub-freezing temperatures, their respective candidates planned parties for all volunteers Tuesday night.
"It's going to be a great time," Oram said.
<3:45 p.m.> Orchard Lake Village reports about two-thirds of registered voters had turned out to vote so far. Orchard Lake Village residents will choose from three candidates to fill three spots on the city council: Jim Talpos, Jason Silver, and incumbent Jackie Beach.
<3:30 p.m.> Voter participation and passion was high in Sylvan Lake this afternoon, as a contingent gathered outside the Sylvan Lake Community Center to make last-minute pitches for their chosen City Council candidate. The clerk's office reported about half of registered voters had turned out for the election, which included two official candidates and two write-in candidates vying for two open seats on the council.
Write-in candidate Megan Rogers-Zumbach had a small tent set up to shield from the cold, where family and friends munched on sweets and shot the breeze with other candidates; fellow write-in John Shepp, Eucharist Cassar, and incumbent Russell Meskin.
Sylvan Lake resident Jocie Ballmann, who is Rogers-Zumbach's sister, noted that the Sylvan Lake community is a "tight-knit group." She said that she hoped that her sister could inject some "new blood" in the council.
Cassar, a former member of the council, said that he had learned from experience that it's important to keep in mind, "we're all neighbors."
"Animosity doesn't serve anyone's best interest," Cassar said.
<1:30 p.m.> If your school district takes a day off on account of Election Day and you're a student, what do you do? While many children surely went with their parents to the polls on this day of reported higher-than-average voter turnout, Walled Lake Northern High School senior students Melissa Griffiths and Madison Chiara took it one step further.
The two campaigned for their chosen candidate in the 39th District State House race, which pits Republican Klint Kesto against Democrat Pam Jackson. Kesto was their candidate, largely due to his differences on Jackson concerning the state economy.
"It's important to get your opinions out even if you can't vote. This is our part," said Griffiths, 17.
"Everyone is really nice. You want to be able to interact with people that you wouldn't on an ordinary day," said Chiara, also 17.
The two students added that they aren't campaigning for school credit or even a professional interest in politics — "just for fun," as Chiara put it.
"If we could, we would vote. I wish we could vote. But, this will do for now," Chiara added.
Incumbent 39th District Rep. Lisa Brown chose not to run, instead running for Oakland County Clerk.
<1:30 p.m.> If an elected official is challenged by someone of the same name, what could possibly go wrong? While campaigning at Gretchko Elementary School, home of precinct 5, incumbent Oakland County Commissioner John A. Scott (R-5th) said, a lot.
Scott is challenged by John Charles Scott, an independent candidate, and Alexandria Riley, a Democrat. John Charles Scott has remained on the ballot despite charges of election fraud pending at 51st District Court.
"It's something I'm very concerned about today. I think it could draw votes away — people who had intended to vote for me may be mistaken into voting for him," said Scott, who had asked the Oakland County Sheriff's Department to investigate in late August.
<12:30 p.m.> In a moment of levity, West Bloomfield School Board candidates John Reed and Julie Beaty — who are campaigned against one another for one spot on the board — momentarily stopped campaigning alongside one another at West Bloomfield Township Main Library to take a photo together.
"It's been a pretty clean race," laughed Beaty.
Beaty added that she, like Reed, feels confident in victory. She said that voters appreciate her "experience with controlling large budgets" and her "long-term commitment to the school district and the community."
<10:30 a.m.> A line can still be found at the West Bloomfield Township Main Library, which houses precinct 15, where State Rep. candidate Michael McCready and West Bloomfield School Board candidate John Reed could each be found outside in warming conditions which had climbed above freezing.
Reed, who said that he had campaigned outside of the library in recent weeks prior to the election, felt confident about his chance. "It's been positive," he said. "The fact that I'm a teacher, I think, people think is neat, and I think people are interested in change. It'll be close and I'm giving it the best chance I can."
Meanwhile, according to Reed campaigner Cynthia Kavieff, lines at Doherty Elementary School, which houses precinct 7, had dissipated after a brief morning rush. Kavieff, a teacher at Ealy Elementary School who also campaigned in support of Proposal 2, said that she hopes students use their day off of school to follow their parents or guardians to the poll.
"I've tried to encourage that," Kavieff said. "I hope they get turned on to politics young. It's a crucial election cycle and they're able to understand that."
<8:30 a.m.> It's a long, long line at Walnut Creek Middle School, home of precincts 2 and 23. Jennifer Dickow of West Bloomfield and George Brikho of Troy campaigned for Judge Diane D'Agostini and State Rep. candidate Klint Kesto, respectively, outside in temperatures below freezing at 29 degrees.
Was there any sense that the two campaigns, despite not running in the same election, were heated towards one another at all? "Nope, it's too cold for that," laughed Dickow.
"We're all Americans, you know," Brikho said, indicating that everyone there had the right to be there.
<7 a.m.> Early-morning voters at Orchard Lake Middle School (precinct 1 in West Bloomfield) were greeted with a packed parking lot filled with like-minded people. Meanwhile, those tuning into early-morning coverage on Twitter were greeted with an update from West Bloomfield Township Clerk Catherine Shaughnessy as well as last-minute pushes from people in a variety of positions.
- "The polls are now open!" tweeted Shaughnessy (@ClerkCathy)
- "The polls are open. #Vote @MittRomney, @BrooksPatterson, @MikeBishopMI, @BillBullardjr, @knollenberg, @MikeJBouchard, @McCulloch2012" tweeted Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson (@BrooksPatterson)
- "Happy Election Day 2012! Today is the day to make your voice heard. VOTE! And make sure your friends and family do too!" tweeted Oakland County Clerk candidate Lisa Brown (@LisaBrown39)
Please understand that these are the results as Greater West Bloomfield area residents voted.West Bloomfield Township Supervisor
Results David Flaisher (NPA)
9,310 Michele Economou Ureste (DEM)
19,576 West Bloomfield Township Clerk Results Catherine Shaughnessy (DEM)
24,194 West Bloomfield Township Treasurer Results Teri A. Weingarden (DEM)
23,857 West Bloomfield Township Trustee, 4 Positions Results Steven Kaplan (DEM)
21,528 Larry Brown (DEM)
20,488 Howard Rosenberg (DEM)
20,020 Diane R. Swimmer (DEM)
19,568 Tom Pustelak (REP)
West Bloomfield Board of Education Results John Reed
4,483 Julie Beaty
Sylvan Lake City Council, 2 Positions Results E. Cassar
604 Russell Meskin
Keego Harbor City Council, 2 Positions Results John Newberry
593 Joel Yoder
Orchard Lake Village Council, 3 Positions Results Jason M. Silver
661 Jim Talpos
739 Jackie Beach
Oakland County Commissioner, 5th District
Results Alexandria Riley, Democrat 7,079 John Scott, Republican
8,749 Oakland County Commissioner, 13th District Results Marcia Gershenson, Democrat
7,808 Al Zaparackas, Republican
State Representative, 39th District Results Pam Jackson, Democrat
10,362 Klint Kesto, Republican
9,276 State Representative, 40th District Results Dorian Coston, Democrat
8,421 Michael D. McCready, Republican
6,518 Steve Burgis, Libertarian