DETROIT (WWJ) - The polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m. on Election Day in metro Detroit, with voter turnout expected to be light.
[To find out where to vote and exactly what will be on the ballot in your community, visit Michigan Voter Information Center at this link].
Along with local city council and mayor elections, many communities will be voting on ballot proposals. In Oakland County, Keego Harbor could become the latest city to legalize the use of marijuana. The ballot proposal asks to legalize, with restrictions, the use of a small amount marijuana for those 21 years old and older on private property. Similar proposals have been approved in Ferndale and Huntington Woods.
The largest bond issue in the county is before voters in the Rochester District. Administrators are asking residents to pay more taxes and approve a $185 million bond issue to remodel schools and upgrade technology, and buy new buses. Ferndale schools are seeking approval of a non-homestead tax proposal that would affect businesses, but raise more than four-million dollars for operations.
WWJ's Laura Bonnell was voter number 10 at her polling place in Royal Oak.
"There was no one in front of me and no one behind me when I cast my vote this morning — so very easy to vote," she said. "We have a mayor running unopposed, but we have lots of ballot proposals; I think there were about six of them. And we had to vote also for city commissioners."
[Check Oakland County results HERE].
Proposals to fix roads and schools as well as mayoral and city council races are before voters in Wayne County.
Allen Park is asking voters to approve a tax increase that would raise money for road repairs. Southgate residents will consider a renewal of a millage to fund road work. Grosse Ile Township voters have to decide a nearly $19 million bond issue which would raise taxes to pay for road and water main improvements. Voters in Van Buren Township will consider a public safety millage that will raise money for police and fire. Meantime, Harper Woods residents decide a proposal that would combine the police and fire departments.
The largest school proposal in Wayne County is in the Woodhaven Brownstown District which is asking voters to approve a $57 million plan to pay for security and technology upgrades at schools as well as new school buses and playground equipment. Schoolcraft College is asking voters to approve a tax increase to raise money for operations.
Contested Mayor races take place in Livonia, Garden City, Highland Park, and Inkster.
One early voter in Southfield Tuesday morning, Charlie Gumpton, gave up precious minutes of sleep as he stopped to cast his ballot after finishing up at work on the third shift. In spite of disheartening racist fliers in mailboxes and anti-gay slurs scrawled on yard signs around the city, he wanted to make an effort.
"Those kinda things really kinda irritate me," he told WWJ's Ron Dewey. "And I want people to know it's important to do your civic duty. To me, I think it's important...I mean, we shall prevail. Right is right."
[Check Wayne County results HERE].
In Macomb County, some of the biggest local races are for mayor and city council in several cities, including Warren and Sterling Heights.
There are some bond issues on the table for Armada and Romeo schools. In Armada, school officials for a second time this year are asking for a $4.1 million over 8 years for 1,200 new computers, a new phone system, security cameras and 750 laptop/tablets for the district — after a similar proposal was rejected by a narrow margin last May. "This is how students learn these days, with mobile devices," the district's superintendent, Michael Musary told the Detroit News. "By having this new technology it will enhance our ability to make our students and staff more productive."
In Romeo, the school district is asking voters to renew a construction bond for $2.1 million a year for four years for building upgrades including new roofs, security systems as well as parking lot paving.
[Check Macomb County results HERE].
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