UPDATED: Light Turnout For Michigan's Presidential Primary
Voters trickle into 32 polling precincts in Bloomfield Township and two in Bloomfield Hills.
Updated at 6 p.m.
If you made it out to the polls today in the Bloomfield area you probably saw members of One Bloomfield United (OBU) reminding voters of the next big vote coming in May.
The grass-roots community group that supports the Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education’s plan to merge Andover and Lahser high schools, had a few dozen volunteers available to chat with voters at a dozen precincts throughout the district. Even though the vote is still 12 weeks away.
"We know the vote is still a long way off, but we want people to be informed. And they were really receptive so far," said OBU spokesman and Patch Blogger Brandon Kaufman.
On May 8, district voters will vote decide whether to support a $78.7 million millage proposal to fund new construction and renovations at the current Andover site.
The group also handed out flyers, but insisted the message Tuesday was more about getting awareness for the vote, which some residents feel is poorly timed. Board members only made the decision official at their Feb. 16 meeting.
“This is not about getting a ‘yes’ vote today, it’s about letting people know there’s going to be a vote in May and that if they have any questions we can answer them,” Kaufman said.
Updated at 4:30 p.m.
Speaking of signage, you won't find many campaign signs along the portions of Telegraph Road through Bloomfield Township today.
But a few signs for surging GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum were placed curiously outside the long-abandoned shell of restaurant along the south bound lanes near Square Lake Road.
Updated at 4 p.m.
Just because the names on the ballot are for the presidential nomination, that doesn’t mean area political hopefuls can’t get in on the action as well.
Signs for David Wolkinson, a West Bloomfield Township native who wants to run for state representative, were cropping up in Bloomfield Township and Birmingham Tuesday. Wolkinson told Patch that he’s looking to run in Michigan’s 40th District come this fall, though an official announcement will be made March 1.
"Happy to hear people in Birmingham saw the WOLKINSON signs," Wolkinson tweeted. "Announcement coming soon."
Signs for Wolkinson were the only campaign signs outside the Bloomfield Township Fire Department Station #1, the Bloomfield Community Television , and Andover High School. On Twitter, Wolkinson (under @DWolkinson) noted that on Tuesday, he “got up early to vote and to get signatures for my petition that would make me a candidate for state representative!”
Oakland County Commissioner David Potts, R-Birmingham, and Birmingham Schools Trustee Robert Lawrence have also declared their candidacy for the seat, currently occupied by term-limited State Rep. Chuck Moss, R-Birmingham.
Updated at 2:30 p.m.
Turnout is still reportedly light at polling locations in both Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township.
Township resident Yvette Nafso said she was disappointed to learn she was only the 68th person to vote at Precinct 1 at the Bloomfield Community Television building at 1:30 p.m.
“I think it’s really important to vote and I’m surprised,” she said. “People want change but don’t want to put out the effort. Everyone wants a miracle."
Updated 9 a.m.
Voting is underway in Michigan's Presidential Primary and early reports are that turnout has been light across Bloomfield Township. Traffic trickled to and from Precinct 22 at the Bloomfield Township Fire Department Station #1, Precinct 1 across the street at the Bloomfield Community Television building, and at Precinct 5 at Andover High School before 9 a.m.
Bloomfield Township Clerk Jan Roncelli said she anticipated about 40 percent overall turnout for today's primary, with a large contingent of votes coming in the form of absentee ballots. The township processed nearly 6,000 absentee ballot requests and Roncelli said it would not be unusual to see 70 percent of them returned.
Both Republican Party hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum did their best to capture voters' attention with a slew of radio, television and online advertising and campaign visits across the state. They head into Tuesday's primary race in a virtual tie, trailed by Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich on the GOP ticket. President Barack Obama is the sole candidate on the Democrats' ballot.
Check here for more information on where and how to vote today, and if you do go to the polls, don't forget to post a photo in our Primary Pride gallery.
Do you have an Election Day story? Did you notice something interesting or odd when you were voting? Do you have something to say about the candidates or issues? Send your story to Editor Art Aisner at email@example.com or call at 248-631-7111.
Birmingham Patch Editor Laura Houser contributed to this report.