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Detroit Votes

Detroiters celebrate election results.

Detroiters celebrate election results. Photo by Dale Rich

By C. Kelly
Michigan Citizen


“On a national scale, what this election proves is that the presidency of the (United States) is not controlled by the white male, but we minorities,” said host of “Detroit Wants to Know” and political analyst Steve Hood. “We have the ability to shift the election and the region should take a cue about that and break down its racial barriers when it comes to Detroit.”

Despite the oft-repeated and incorrect “illiteracy” rate in Detroit, Detroiters read and understood the issues better than statewide voters who voted no on all proposals.

Hood said Michigan voters suffered from “voter fatigue” but Detroit navigated more questions than any other voter in the state with 18 ballot proposals.

If Detroit voters decided the election, Proposals 2, 3, 4 and 6 would have passed. Detroiters approved proposals to enshrine collective bargaining in the constitution and extend that right to home health care workers. Detroiters voted to guarantee a renewable energy plan for the state and mandated the legislature decide international bridge projects and crossings projects.

Bridget Mary McCormack, Connie Marie Kelley and Judge Shelia Johnson would have won Supreme Court seats. Instead, only McCormack won and Michigan voters rejected Proposals 2, 3, 4 and 6.

Hood said Detroit benefitted from statewide “fatigue” with the failure of the Emergency Manager Law — 82 percent of Detroit voted “no” on Proposal 1.

Detroiters turned up and turned out at almost 51 percent with about 289,000 voters participating. On the afternoon of Nov. 6, Detroit Department of Elections director Daniel Baxter said city turnout was “pretty hardy,” although Baxter expected turnout at 55-65 percent. Baxter said, according to unofficial results, absentee voters represented about 13 percent of voters.

Corporate media columnists often criticize Detroit for its turnout numbers. Yet, political analysts consistently point to the fact that Detroit voting rolls could have more than 100,000 extra names of individuals who no longer live in the city of Detroit. Therefore, there’s a great chance Detroit’s turnout rate is higher than the reported 50 percent.

Baxter spoke to this issue and says Detroit has additional voters on its rolls because of national voter registration laws, not budget cuts.

“You can’t simply cancel records due to inactivity. You can only cancel records if you get info from a reliable organization or mailings come back undeliverable,” said Baxter. “We know we have about 100,000 records of individuals who no longer reside in the city but can’t cancel their records until two consecutive general/federal elections.”

Baxter also said the department will release an official report with results based on the current voter file and will also release an unofficial report minus the numbers of people who are no longer residents. That report would show the true turnout percentages.

Hood said voter turnout was solid but still not comparable to 2008.

“It was so great, we had so many people come out and vote for our president. While that is good, we could have had more. We have a lower registered voter base than we had in 2008 so we actually had much fewer people than last time with 330,000 voters.”

Hood also believes African Americans lost out in this election cycle.

“Never have so many Negroes been rented for so few dollars,” said Hood, speaking of the small numbers of Blacks being paid for political work and much of the proposal boosting being done. Hood said Blacks continue to work in mostly marginal capacity on campaigns and did not largely benefit from the billions spent during the cycle.

“Detroit Wants to Know” can be seen Sundays on WADL at 11:30 am. Detroit Election report can be obtained at

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