Decision 2016: Trump wins Michigan; other results

Generic Vote sticker AP File Photo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Donald Trump has narrowly won the state of Michigan by 13,225 votes.

The Michigan Secretary of State updated the state results just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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Trump won in several counties including Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Macomb and Saginaw.

Trump’s victory marks the first time Michigan has voted red in a presidential election since casting ballots for President George H. W. Bush in 1988.

“Michiganders sent a clear message today that they want to see change in the Oval Office. They’re tired of the same kind of corruption and failed policies we’ve seen from politicians like Hillary Clinton for the last 30 years. Donald Trump has presented a common-sense plan to keep jobs in Michigan and keep our country safe. His win today sends a clear message that not only is Michigan in play in Presidential Elections, but that candidates have to speak to our issues if they want to win here,” stated Michigan Republican Party Chairperson Ronna Romney McDaniel in a Wednesday afternoon news release.

Gov. Rick Snyder released this statement on Trump’s win in Michigan Wednesday afternoon:

“This election cycle has seen a rise in divisiveness but it’s time to move forward together. People are notably angry, as it sometimes seems as if Washington, D.C. isn’t working for the people who elected them.

“Now the country needs to unite behind our elected leaders and Michigan is going to lead the way. We’ve shown time and again the good things that can happen when people work together. That doesn’t mean we always have to agree on everything, but we can agree on at least some things that need to be fixed and that’s where we should focus our energy first.

“I congratulate President Elect-Trump and VP-Elect Pence and will reach out to offer my support to work together to help the future of all Americans. Michigan can be a model for real change that puts people first. Our state’s comeback is strong and grows stronger each day and that’s because of hard work and people working together.”

While polls had showed Clinton with a decent lead in Michigan only a few weeks ago, a poll commissioned the Detroit Free Press Friday showed her in a statistical dead heat with Trump. That poll also turned Michigan into a toss-up state, according to Real Clear Politics. As a result, Trump and Clinton drew huge crowds at rallies in West Michigan as the clock counted down to Election Day.

But it turned out Trump didn’t need Michigan to win. He was declared the winner long before it was clear which way Michigan would vote.

Around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Associated Press said Trump, the Republican candidate, had secured more than the 270 electoral votes he needed to win the White House. About 20 minutes later, he told supporters that Clinton had called him to concede the race.

>>Election results

BALLOT PROPOSALS

In Kent County, voters approved a millage to fund the Grand Rapids Public Museum and John Ball Zoo. The additional .44 mills will cost the owner of a $170,000 home $37.40 more per year through 2025.

Kent County residents also said yes to an addition to the 911 surcharge. Residents across the county will now pay 70 cents more per month for a total monthly surcharge of $1.15 on their phone bill. The money will be used to add new communications towers and create a single system so all departments can speak on a single system.

In the City of Walker, voters approved instituting a limit of two four-year terms for their local officials. The measure passed with 68.2 percent of the vote.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND STATE LEGISLATURE

Among those up for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives were Republican Reps. Justin Amash of Grand Rapids, Bil Huizenga of Zeeland and Fred Upton of St. Joseph. By around 11 p.m., all three had declared victory.

“We feel confident that we’ve won,” Huizenga told 24 Hour News 8.

The Associated Press called all three of those races in their favor within the hour. This will be the fourth term for both Amash and Huizenga and the sixteenth for Upton. U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, also a Republican, also won re-election for a fifth term.

In the Michigan House 91st District, Democrat Collene Lamonte conceded the race to Republican Rep. Holly Hughes, the incumbent, around 12:30 a.m. This was the third time the women had faced off for a state House seat.

McDaniel, the state’s GOP chair, anticipated her party would maintain its majority in the state House.

“So it’s a big win for the Republicans tonight in Michigan,” she said.

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Three Republican state lawmakers who are being forced from office due to term limits are transitioning from Lansing to local offices in Kent County:

Rep. Tom Hooker will be the next Byron Township Supervisor. Hooker won the August primary for the supervisor’s position and was unopposed in the general election.

Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons was the winner of a three-way race to be the new Kent County Clerk and Register of Deeds. Lyons, of Alto, will replace County Clerk Mary Hollinrake, who is retiring.

Rep. Ken Yonker will be the next Kent County Drain Commissioner. Yonker received 55 percent of the vote Tuesday and replaces the retiring William Byl.

Seven West Michigan counties elected new sheriffs.

ROCKFORD CITY COUNCIL

Melissa Young, the widow of former Rockford City Manager Michael Young, has won a seat on the Rockford City Council.

Young received the most votes of all the candidates vying for a seat on the council. The next two runners-up, Terry Konlde and Cheryle Scales, were also elected. Gail Mancewicz was the only incumbent seeking re-election, and she finished sixth in the seven-person race.

Michael Young died in January.

>>Election results

VOTER TURNOUT

Voter turnout in Michigan could be higher than average this year, if absentee voting is any indication. As of Tuesday afternoon, Michigan had issued 1,320,179 absentee ballots to voters; 1,227,756 were returned. The return rate is approximately 18 percent higher than the previous presidential election in 2012. A state spokesman also said three percent more absentee ballots were issued this year.

The Kalamazoo County clerk didn’t have a county-wide turnout percentage as of 7 p.m., but said numbers were on track to hit about 120,000 voters, similar to the 2012 turnout. Two precincts in Kalamazoo reported more than 50 percent turnout.

Ballot instructions
A sheet at a Grand Rapids polling place explains how to fill out a ballot. (Nov. 8, 2016)

In the City of Grand Rapids, 83,000 ballots had been cast of 7:30 p.m., including 66,999 at polling places and 16,001 absentee ballots. Election day turnout was 61.74 percent.

The Cascade Township clerk said that as of 7:15 p.m., turnout was around 81 percent. The record in the township is 84 percent, which was set during the 2008 presidential election. The clerk said it was possible they may meet or break that record.

The Ottawa County clerk said that record turnout there is 77 percent, also from the 2008 election. That county also had a chance of getting close to its record.

Nationwide turnout among everyone old enough to vote was about 58 percent in the 2008 presidential election and about 55 percent in 2012, according to The American Presidency Project at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of Decision 2016

LONG LINES AT SOME LOCATIONS

Many people were already lined up outside polling locations across West Michigan when polls opened at 7 a.m.

At Mulick Elementary School in Grand Rapids, people told 24 Hour News 8 they waited more than two hours to vote. However, around 12:15 p.m. the line had completely dissolved.

The line to vote already stretched out the door and into the gymnasium at Cascade Township Family Life Center when the polls opened. The Cascade Township clerk told 24 Hour News 8 there was a ballot jam in one of the machines, but the issue was quickly fixed and the ballot numbers correctly matched.

While many voters voiced exhaustion, they said they know their ballot matters and were glad to see a good turnout at the polls Tuesday.

“It’s important to get out and do what so many people gave up their lives (for) to protect for us,” one voter told 4 Hour News 8.

About 200 people — mostly Grand Valley State University students — were still in line at the Precinct 5 polling location at Life Stream Church in Allendale Township as of 8:20 p.m. Some of those people told 24 Hour News 8 they waited 2.5 hours to vote. The last two people voted around 9:30 p.m.

The county clerk said the problem was that some 1,400 students registered to vote within the last month though third-party groups like the Democratic and Republican parties and the League of Women Voters. Organizers brought in extra workers and equipment to handle the onslaught of students, but still found it hard to keep up.

Election chair Kathy Hanes said that some people gave up and left without casting their ballot, but there was no way to know how many.