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Michigan Election 2012: Stabenow Captures Senate Seat

Five of the six statewide ballot proposals were defeated, according to early results.

Voters throughout Michigan chose Barack Obama over Mitt Romney for president, according to early results, and voted no on at least five of the six state proposals.

Michiganders also chose incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow over Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra for Senate, according to early results.

Voter turnout was reported to be high across the state. In 2008, 66.2 percent of Michigan's registered voters cast ballots, the highest number since 1968 when voter turnout was 66.8 percent. On Tuesday, many precincts were still taking ballots well after 8 p.m. to accommodate voters.

1:32 AM: U.S. Rep. John Dingell claimed victory and a record-breaking 30th term in Congress.

12:46 AM: Results are trickling in. Dexter Patch reports Gretchen Driskell has claimed victory in her bid for the 52nd district House seat in Michigan.

In Birmingham and Grosse Ile, only absentee ballots remain to be counted. But it could be a long wait in Trenton, where final results may not come unitl 2 or 2:30 a.m.

11 PM: Gary Peters claimed victory in the race for Michigan's 14th Congressional District seat.

“By bringing together a diverse coalition of supporters, we've won the race for the new 14th Congressional District and now it's time to begin a new chapter of partnership and cooperation throughout the Greater Detroit region,” Peters said in a release. “There's a lot more that unites us than divides us, and that's why I'm looking forward to bringing together leaders from across our community to develop solutions to the regional challenges all of us face. To everyone that came out and voted today, thank you for making your voice heard and let's get to work.”

10 PM: Democrat Debbie Stabenow gave her victory speech for another term in the Senate. Although not all precincts have reported results, the Associated Press called it for Stabenow.

9:25 PM: Media outlets such as NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR have projected Barack Obama as the winner in Michigan, but only a small percentage of precincts have reported results.

9:12 PM: The Detroit Free Press reports that all five state ballot proposals are headed to defeat.

8:24 PM: Results may come in quickly tonight in Oakland County thanks to some new technology.

Oakland is now the second county in the nation to use wireless technology to expedite election results, Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard told Huntington Woods-Berkley Patch.

8:06 PM: Former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard told WXYZ that President Obama worked with Gov. Rick Snyder on the new bridge to Canada.

8:01 PM: The polls are closed. Check back here on Patch for results and news throughout the night.

6:53 PM: Chesterfield Township Clerk Jan Uglis said there's been high voter turnout throughout the day, with some precincts seeing around 600 residents each well before polls close at 8 p.m.

Uglis said she expects registered voter turnout will be in the high 70th percentile, exceeding the last presidential election cycle. Absentee ballots comprise 18 percent of Chesterfield's registered voters this election.

The Democratic clerk, who is running for re-election against Republican Cindy Berry, said she's been too busy with election duties to dwell on her bid for office.

“I feel good, but it’s not up to me. The man upstairs is the one who’s going to tell me where I’m going to be," Uglis said. “I only hope that this township gets a good board that can work together."

6:47 PM: Workers at Chrysler did not have to worry about finding time to vote today: They had the day off.

The automaker gave all 55,000 U.S. employees the day off today, according to the Huffington Post Detroit.

6:43 PM: In Fenton, 77-year-old elections worker Stanley Young greets voters with a smile.

"I do it for the money," joked Young, who has been a election worker for 25 years. "They give me $8 an hour for 12 hours. Plus we get free donuts."

4:34 PM: The Oakland County GOP chair gets them, too. During an interview in his Bloomfield Hills office adorned with photos of vintage U.S. Air Force aircraft, Oakland Party Chairman Jim Thienel reluctantly picks up the phone on his desk that just won't stop ringing, and smiles. On the other end? A voice recording of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, urging him for a vote.

"I can assure you, you have it!" Theinel quipped after putting the call on speaker. "If I got that call, it must have gone out to every number in the country."

3:36 P.M.: Precinct 23 and 24 Chairperson in Shelby Township tells Patch this is the highest voter turnout she's seen since working the polls for half a decade. Voters are reporting long lines all over the area.

2:10 PM: U.S. Rep John Dingell (D-15th District) paid a visit to Yack Arena in Wyandotte. Dingell is running against GOP challenger Cynthia Kallgren for a seat in the 12th District. Dingell is seeking his 30th term.

1:55 PM: Got a craving for something sweet? Voters in St. Clair Shores are passing their time in line with the sweet smells of baked goods. At  members of the student council were holding a bake sale with Colette Dewandler, 10, of Eastpointe, reporting sales as "really good." At the St. Clair Shores Senior Activities Center, staff members were baking 100 apple pies to be sold to voters and raise funds for the senior meal program at the facility.

1:20 PM: Rochester Mills Beer Co. is offering two free sample pours of beer to customers who voted. Across town at Rockin' Cupcakes, the bakery is offering a buy-one-cupcake-get-one-free deal for voters. 

1:05 PM: Caroline Schneemann, 18, of Farmington and Marisa Brauer, 20, of Farmington Hills cast their first votes today. Marisa described going to the polls as "pretty exhilarating." "I felt like my vote counted," she said. "I felt like an American."

12:35 PM: At Adams High School in Rochester Hills, the two candidates for 45th District state representative greeted voters about 20 feet apart from one another on Tuesday morning. Tom McMillin, the Republican incumbent, said he is encouraged by the voters he has met during his campaign and he has heard from residents who want to "keep the state turning around." Joanna VanRaaphorst, the Democratic challenger, said she has talked to many people on their way into the polls today who said they were planning to split their ticket. "I feel very encouraged by that," she said. The candidates made small talk with one another — mostly about the weather — while campaigning.

12:19 PM: A 91-year-old World War II veteran from Dexter voted in his 18th presidential election today. "Why should I vote absentee?" Bill Lowry said. "As long as I'm able to walk, I'll come to the polls myself."

11:57 AM: As if being caught up in Hurricane Sandy wasn't bad enough, some out-of-state Michigan residents, including Oakland County attorney Richard Bernstein, also are unable to vote this year because their absentee ballots didn't arrive to them in hurricane-ravaged towns on time.

11:46 AM: A Hartland voter has four words of advice for those heading to the polls today. Can you guess what they are?

11:19 AM: Students in West Bloomfield have the day off school for Election Day. Ealy Elementary School teacher Cynthia Kavieff said she hopes students use their day off to follow their parents or guardians to the poll.

11:11 AM: About 30 percent of voters in Trenton and Grosse Ile had cast their ballots before the polls even opened Tuesday morning.

10:55 AM: Dearborn City Clerk Kathy Buda said this election could mark a record for the number of absentee ballots issued in her city. Did you vote abstentee? Tell us why in the comments below.

9:31 AM: A commenter on the Lake Orion-Oakland Township Facebook page reports a wait of 1-2 hours at Musson Elementary School.

9:28 AM: Rochester Patch reports waits of one hour beginning at 6:50 a.m. at West Middle School in Rochester Hills.

9:17 AM: HuffPost Detroit has a liveblog all day to keep you up to the minute on the latest Election Day news.

8:57 AM: Hungry after you cast your vote? Then head to Tim Horton's for a free donut.

8:45 AM: Early reports suggest big voter turnout in places such as Bloomfield, Clawson and Macomb Township.

8:43 AM: How much money did the campaigns spend in Michigan this year? The Huffington Post Detroit takes a look.

8:34 AM: Lines were long Tuesday morning at Mason Elementary School. Poll workers said at least two residents were waiting for poll workers at 6 a.m., a full hour before voting began in Michigan.

Stay with Patch as we update this article all day with news and information from the polls and live election results after 8 p.m. 

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Brad Jensen November 18, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Yes, those evil hostess unions folks were greedy. That is why they agreed to to $110 million in cuts in 2004? The management squandered it and still went out of business. The company has had 6 CEOs and no one was able to save it. Then they had the nerve to blame it on the employees. Just like Papa Johns reducing hours and increasing the price of pizza - for Obamacare whose provisions won't come into effect until 2014. Meanwhile, he gets to line his own pockets at the cost of his employees. In addition, he pissed off 52% of the population who realize that there are other places to buy pizza. When he finally goes out of business he will probably blame his employees again. Damn greedy employees wanting to take their kids to the doctor! If you want a lower tax rate why DON'T you take your company to Ireland? I think that you realize that there are other benefits that you have by having your company in the US. Also, that low tax rate is not for all businesses and mostly benefits large multinational manufacturing firms, so good luck with that. BTW, you might want to check Ireland's credit rating with Moody's before you pack your bags.
Brad Jensen November 18, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Oh, and the Hostess union folks were not demanding more money, they were refusing further concessions. Plus they were ticked off that Hostess was not fulfilling their pension obligations in violation of their contract. I have seen nothing about blaming it on Obamacare. I think you are making that up.
Lee Jacobsen November 19, 2012 at 05:49 AM
Brad, Unions and work rules killed Hostess. Hostess was party to 372 separate collective bargaining agreements (CBAs"). The CBAs collectively mandated maintenance of 80 different health and welfare benefit plans, The unions have work rules that hamstring operations. For example, Hostess often provided both bread and cake products to an individual customer location. The existing work rules required that, on many routes, separate trucks must deliver the bread and cake products to that single customer location. The work rules also required that, in some bakeries and distribution centers, a separate individual must be used to load the trucks (competitors have drivers who load their own trucks) and separate people must load either bread or cake onto a truck. Finally, work rules require that, in some instances even when a route representative is already visiting a customer location, that representative may not move product within that location; rather, a separate employee must visit the customer location to move product from the back room to the shelf. Often, this so-called "pull-up" employee cannot move both bread and cake and, thus, two "pull-up" employees must make this same trip. This multiplies the number of individuals necessary to deliver product to customers and doubles the fuel and truck costs. Finally, the work rules prevent Hostess from implementing alternative distribution systems into new, currently unserved markets. Again, outmoded union rules killed Hostess.
Brad Jensen November 20, 2012 at 04:05 PM
John Galt is a fictional character.
Brad Jensen November 20, 2012 at 04:15 PM
The unions were not entirely blameless. However, to say "the unions killed Hostess" and then somehow blaming that on Obama and/or Obamacare is disingenuous. You did not address how management squandered the millions of investment dollars and union concessions, you did not address the 6 CEOs since 2004 or the pillaging of millions of dollars for raises and golden parachutes for the upper management. I suspect that you would have also blamed KMart's near bankruptcy on the employees as well (it was clearly bad management). I hate stupid inflexible union rules. It is up to the unions to recognize and correct the things that just create costs and hassle and get rid of them in order to remain relevant for the next century. However, you conflate this bankruptcy with Obamacare, unions in general, liberals etc. which is exactly the type of partisan thinking that has led to gridlock.

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