We hope you enjoy this abbreviated version of the
Serving Frankenmuth Since 1906
Vol. 111 No. 21 In our 111th year!
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Election recount possible; township to go to one precinct
The 2016 presidential election appears to be over and while it came as a surprise to many across the land that Donald J. Trump would become the next U.S. president, it came as little surprise here.
However, there are rumblings of a possible ballot recount. More on that later.
Final voting tallies showed that Frankenmuth city and township voter turnout was as expected, around 75-80 percent, and voted about 5 to 1 Republican.
Frankenmuth city checked in around 75 percent, the township at 82 percent and Blumfield Township had 77 percent turnout.
All three clerks – Phil Kerns for the city, Luci Valone for the township and Lisa Roethlisberger for Blumfield – were pleased to see the lines at the polls, despite no burning proposal questions or really contested races other than for president.
Saginaw County clerks just received word from Saginaw County Clerk Sue Kaltenbach for a possible recount and the Bureau of Elections is looking for a facility in the county large enough for many workers and some challengers.
“I have never been through a statewide recount, but it appears all of our secured ballot containers will need to be reopened and ballots recounted,” Kerns said.
Nearly 4.8 million ballots were cast in Michigan on November 8. A total of 2,279,543 voted for Trump, 2,268,839 for Clinton, 172,136 for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 51,463 for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Trump topped Clinton, who has already conceded the election, by 10,704 votes.
Stein has already officially requested a recount in Wisconsin and is considering the same for Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Kaltenbach would need a secure facility to store ballot containers. The recount could start as soon as today (November 30) and would end by December 12.
“It could be done in a few days but must be available for those days as ballot containers would be stored,” Kaltenbach said in a Monday memorandum to the other clerks in Saginaw County.
Changes will be coming for Frankenmuth Township for future elections. The last election saw 1,237 of the 1,533 registered voters come to the polls, with absentee balloting of nearly 23 percent (345 ballots returned).
“With the purchase of new machinery being mandated by the state, the township’s two precincts will merge into one,” Valone said.
By law, if the population of a township is 3,999 or less, it can be one precinct. With Frankenmuth Township’s voter population between 1,500 and 1,600, it’s time to make the switch, Valone noted.
“Saginaw County Clerk Sue Kaltenbach and City Clerk Phil Kerns have encouraged the township to go to one precinct since I became clerk. It’s time to make the switch now that this election cycle is over,” Valone said.
The state will cover the cost of the one new machine the township will purchase. Once the change is complete, all voters will receive a new voter identification card in the mail. The change should be completed sometime in early 2017. The city will also receive new voting machines. The next election will be the 2018 primary.
This year’s election was a good example of needing just one precinct, since voter turnout usually reaches 80 percent about every four years – the presidential election.
“Poll goers were very patient and courteous. The only significant line was at 7am. The majority of the day was steady, with another rush between 4-5:30pm,” Valone said. “I was pleased with our election workers. They really made the process enjoyable by keeping a positive attitude . . . I couldn’t wish for a better group.”
Township Deputy Clerk Amy Rousseau took advantage of the lull to show German exchange students the election process.
During their time at the township hall, they visited the second-floor offices and a display case.
“Unbelievably enough, the picture above the display case is actually of their city, and their school was visible too. It made their day,” Rousseau said.
A few Blumfield Township residents recently asked how they voted on a few of the selected races. For president, Trump received 923 votes to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 197 votes. For the judge of the10th District circuit court, Andre Borrello defeated Paul Fehrman, 412-380, Republican Al Hardwick defeated Democrat Dale Kildee, 757-324 and for the Frankenmuth School Board, the, Karen Uebler (307), Brandon Muller (279) and David Abke were the full-term winners and Travis Dafoe had 238 votes and Jason Lipka collected 109 votes. Dafoe was the overall winner.