CADILLAC — Though the numbers in some local counties have yet to be certified by the local boards of canvassers, county clerks said Wednesday that turnout at the Nov. 6 midterm election was strong.
“We were pushing a presidential-type turnout,‘ said Missaukee County Clerk Jessica Nielsen. The Board of Canvassers did certify Missaukee County's results on Wednesday, though they may need to reconvene if boards in other counties that share a school district with Missaukee County flag issues with their ballots.
Turnout in Missaukee County was 61.5 percent, with 6,660 people casting ballots, Nielsen said. That's slightly different than was reported shortly after polls closed because of typographical errors. However, the error did not impact the results of any race, Nielsen said.
In Wexford County, where canvassers did not certify results Wednesday due to provisional ballots being cast that will need to be resolved in the next week, turnout was somewhat lower than County Clerk Elaine Richardson expected.
"Not that I'm complaining," she said. At 56 percent, it's behind the 2016 presidential turnout of 61.25 percent voter turnout in Wexford County but far ahead of the 2014 midterm election, when 41 percent of voters turned out in the county.
Lake County had 51.8 percent turnout according to unofficial results. Patti Pacola, the Lake County Clerk, said Wednesday afternoon that she did not expect the county's board of canvassers would be able to certify results on Wednesday and that she expected the process to go into a second day.
"We had a huge turnout," Pacola said. The 51.8 percent turnout "was huge compared to what we usually have.‘
It’s usually below 50 percent, she said.
"I can’t pinpoint it to any one (issue)" driving turnout, Pacola said. She thinks it was the propositions, she said.
"I think (the propositions) were huge on our ballot this time,‘ Pacola said. But she didn't have a measurement available that would make the case.
Osceola County Clerk Karen Bluhm was not available to comment on this story. A deputy said it was expected that the board of canvassers would meet for a second time on Thursday. Early uncertified results showed 9,403 cast ballots in the governor's race while 9,391 voted on the marijuana legalization issue. The county did not list a turnout percentage on its results document, however.
Little information was available from the clerks about the demographics of who showed up to the polls or why. Clerks said they can run those reports, but they have not yet had time.
Clerks said the process overall went smoothly. There were some equipment problems, but the contractor that handles the machines, Election Source, was able to address the issues.