Bernie’s Big Turnout: Michigan Shatters 44-Year-Old 1972 Voting Record In Support Of Sanders


Bernie Sanders’ campaign says it needs a big voter turnout to win, and that’s just what happened in the Michigan primary, Tuesday. So many voters turned out, in fact, the Wolverine State broke its previous voter turnout record set all the way back in 1972. Some 2.4 million voters showed up Tuesday, compared to 1.9 million in 1972.

Voter turnout was so high for the Michigan primary some precincts even ended up running out of ballots. People were told to wait an hour or more for more ballots to be delivered, or come back later to vote. Redford, Ingham County, ran out of ballots, as did a Kent County precinct.

Redford clerks state Precinct 25 was fresh out of Democratic ballots for at least half an hour. Reports also state Flint ran out of ballots, as well.

Precinct 25 Chairman Jack Zatirka stated that 609 voters had cast their ballots by the closing time of 8 p.m., which Zatirka said was a pretty average turnout. Still, 100+ voters stood in line at Vandenburg Elementary waiting to cast their own ballots, aware that so long as they were in line by 8 p.m. they would have a chance to vote. Those in line said they’d been waiting an hour and a half or so.

According to the Detroit Free Press:

‘The high number was fueled by a huge increase in absentee voting this year over previous elections.’

One local resident in Redford Township said she couldn’t recall a time in which she had to wait so long to vote in the twenty-some years she’d been voting at that particular precinct.

Other precincts didn’t run out of ballots, but nearly did, such as precincts 17 and 21. Wayne County Clerk spokesperson Jina Sawani said in an email:

‘In this record turnout, these kinds of things happen.’

Some precincts, such as Ingham County, got into such a pinch they actually started photocopying ballot forms in order to continue processing voters until new forms could arrive. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said the photocopied forms would have to be tallied up manually.

Some 556,000 absentee ballots bolstered the primary results in Michigan, made up of 311,407 Republican votes and 239,197 Democratic. That’s 162,000 more absentee votes cast than in 2012. With that information in hand, the absentee votes were considered enough to project the winner for Michigan, which echoed and coincided with several circulating polls declaring both Trump and Hillary the victors.

But election day also saw a much higher voter turnout, just as Sanders says he needs for primary victories. Local clerks, as well as the Secretary of State, have confirmed the matter.

Michigan Secretary of State head of election, Christopher Thomas, said:

‘We’re seeing high turnout in pockets around the state and on both sides of the aisle.’

Higher voter turnout is really something, since everyone knows primaries just don’t bring out the voters like they should. For example, as the Detroit Free Press points out:

‘In 2012, only 16.7% of the registered voters cast ballots.’

America may just be witnessing real political revolution, here, and more than one. Whether it will be a Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders revolution remains to be seen.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Featured image by Gage Skidmore via WikiMedia, available under Creative Commons license.