Source: Sherman Publications

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'Ready to move forward'

by Susan Bromley

November 07, 2012

Voters fill out ballots in Brandon Township in Tuesday's election. Photo by Patrick McAbee.
Despite a lengthy ballot with six statewide proposals, local clerks reported voting in the Nov. 6 general election went well, with good turnout and relatively short lines.

"It was a much easier day than I anticipated," said Brandon Township Clerk Jeannie McCreery, who cited a minor electrical glitch at Oakwood Elementary, which serves one of six precincts as a polling place in the township. "After the morning rush, the lines were constant, but not huge. At night there were a lot of voters, but not a lot of lines."

Brandon Township has 11,389 registered voters, and of those, 7,924 participated in this election, roughly 68 percent.

Groveland Township had slightly higher voter turnout— nearly 73 percent, 3, 040 of 4,179 total registered voters cast a ballot.

"Overall, I felt really good at the end of the day," said Groveland Clerk Pam Mazich. "We had people in line, but no long lines where people had to stand for hours. At most, the wait was about a half-hour or 40 minutes. I think the voters came prepared, educated, and wanted to get the election behind them, because no matter the outcome, they are ready to move forward."

Mazich, along with Groveland Supervisor Bob DePalma and Treasurer David Ax, were all reelected after they ran unopposed. In the township trustee race, Republicans Diane Howell and Dale Cason were elected, with 1,720 votes (41.49 percent) and 1,711 votes (41.27 percent) respectively. Brian Muzzarelli, who ran under no party affiliation, was defeated with 687 votes (16.57 percent).

In Brandon Township, Supervisor Kathy Thurman was elected to a second term, Candee Allen will succeed retiring Clerk McCreery, and Terri Darnall will be the new treasurer, with all running unopposed on the ballot.

In the Brandon trustee race, five candidates vied for four seats, with Republicans Dana DePalma (4,636 votes, 22.34 percent), William DeWitt (4,497 votes, 21.67 percent), Jayson Rumball (4,188 votes, 20.18 percent) and Ron Lapp (3,917 votes, 18.88 percent) winning spots. Democrat Maria Lauinger was defeated with 3,442 votes, 16.59 percent.

The Brandon School Board will have two new faces— with Lisa Kavalhuna (2,996 votes, roughly 35 percent) and John Chartier (2,846 votes, about 33 percent) being elected to 4-year terms. Kimberly Smith-Kulaga was defeated after coming in third with 2,748 votes, 32 percent.

Diane Salter, who was recently appointed to the board, will complete a partial term that ends Dec. 31, 2014 after running for the seat without opposition.

The Brandon school operating millage renewal on the ballot, to be levied on non-homestead property, passed with 4,292 yes votes (54 percent) to 3,696 no votes (46 percent). The millage renewal garners roughly $1.6 million annually for the district.

In Ortonville, Council President Wayne Wills was reelected without ballot opposition. Also running unopposed and winning trustee seats were Debbie Baker, Dan Eschmann, and newcomer Courtney McClerren.

In the race for the top post in the nation, President Barack Obama won reelection, but was not the choice of the majority of Brandon and Groveland voters. In Brandon, Obama had 3,213 votes (40.70 percent) to 4,552 votes, or 57.66 percent, for challenger Mitt Romney. In Groveland, Romney had 1,864 votes (61.58 percent) to Obama's 1,116 votes (36.87 percent).

Brandon and Groveland voters followed suit with the rest of the state in defeating statewide ballot proposals 2 through 6. Proposal 1, regarding emergency managers, was defeated statewide by a narrow margin, but was supported by nearly 57 percent of Brandon voters and almost 60 percent of Groveland voters. Proposal two, the "Protect Our Jobs Amendment" regarding collective bargaining that was supported by the Brandon Education Association and which the Brandon School Board unanimously passed a resolution opposing, was voted down by 65 percent of Brandon voters and nearly 68 percent of Groveland voters.