Lansing Gears Up For Election Day

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

"Election day is a lot of work, and we work hard to make it so that when you walk in it's a seamless, quick process, as quick as we can make it," Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope said.

Primary elections aren't known for their voter turnout, but a couple of races in Lansing have some people talking, and ready to head to the polls on Tuesday.

Lansing's city clerk is running unopposed in this primary, but he's still busy with election day preparations.

"Election day is a lot of work, and we work hard to make it so that when you walk in it's a seamless, quick process, as quick as we can make it," Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope said.

Making it quick shouldn't be too hard this time around. Swope is expecting a 10 percent voter turnout at best, or about 8,000 people. There are only three sections on the ballot and a total of 15 names to consider. It took voter Susan Nehf less than five minutes to fill out her absentee ballot.

"It's a very simple ballot," Nehf said.

Election experts agree. The mayoral race is basically a lock for incumbent Virg Bernero. It's the city council at-large seats that are getting the most buzz; six candidates are on the ballot, voters choose their top two, and only four will move on.

"It's always tough to knock off incumbents, and so you've got Brian Jeffries and Kathie Dunbar, the two incumbents," Editor of "Inside Michigan Politics" Bill Ballenger said. "They're going to finish in the top four, and that's all they have to do in a primary to be able to continue until November."

Ballenger expects Judi Brown Clarke will also be in the top four, and if she can finish above either incumbent, he said that could shift the momentum for the general election.

As for the fourth ward race, Ballenger said incumbent Jessica Yorko will likely move on, but Chong-Anna Canfora could be competition for the top spot.

"Psychologically it's a big boost to finish first in August," Ballenger said. "If you can finish first, that's the best."

There are only two second ward candidates, so they automatically move on to the general election and won't be on the ballot.

Polls open at 7:00 a.m. Absentee ballots can be dropped off at several drop box locations until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday when the polls close.


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