Clerks Work All Day to Put Out Election Results, Exceptional Turnout for Primary

Michigan’s presidential primary results are in, with Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders walking away with victories.

County clerks across Northern Michigan say they’re pleased with voter turnout, saying it was higher than it was in 2012.

Clerks at all different levels started their days early to make sure the voting process went smoothly.

And they kept hustling all day, even after the polls closed at 8 p.m.

“That’s when the nerves really start rolling. You’re tired, your brain’s not functioning right. You’re trying to make sure you just get everything right,” said Boon Township Clerk Lynda Ritter.

Wexford County has 16 township clerks and two city clerks.

All of whom still had lots to do once the polls closed.

“Wexford County has AccuVote machines which are computer-generated and everybody has them in the state. All of our clerks also have e-Poll books, which helps them a lot at the end of the night. They just push a button and get the results,” said Wexford County Clerk Elaine Richardson.

Voter turnout was steady all day long for Boon Township.

Clerks say they saw a certain demographic come out in high numbers.

“I was really really impressed at how many young first-time voters were out this time and were coming in with their parents,” Ritter said.

Township and city clerks all turned in their results to the county clerk by 11 p.m.

This morning, the state’s canvas board will come in and compare their numbers to what the clerk has.

“We load everything in, we send some reports. We have to right away send a report into the State of Michigan. They’re waiting for us, they can’t leave until we’re done,” Richardson said.

According to Richardson,  it’s not unusual for voter turnout to be around 15 or 20 percent during presidential primaries. But yesterday’s numbers surpassed even that.

“I heard a few of them say they had 35 percent voter turnout. 55, 40. So all that’s good. We’ve done well.”

There were a number of candidates on the ballot who had dropped out the race after ballots were printed.

Votes for these candidates did not count.

Wexford County saw 14 uncounted votes for Democrats and 187 for Republicans.