2012-07-28 / Top News

Election Overview

Mackinac Island Voters Go To Polls Aug. 7
By Aebra Coe

Some pivotal political races will be decided with the primary election in Mackinac County Tuesday, August 7. Voters will decide who will represent them and whether their taxes will benefit the community.

The Primary is used to eliminate more than one party candidate running for a single office. For example, two Republicans are running for Mackinac County Sheriff, but only one Republican can run in the General Election. So, in the Primary, one of the candidates will be eliminated, and those voting the Republican section will decide which one it will be.

Write-in candidates can also receive votes in the Primary, but they must file a declaration of intent with the County Clerk’s office by Friday, July 27, to be counted in the August 7 Primary.

The Primary can also be used to vote on other matters, such as to approve taxes (millages) or new laws. There is one county-wide millage proposal and a number of township and city millage proposals on the Primary ballot. There are no state proposals in the Primary this year.

Everybody votes for the millage proposals, which will be in the section of the ballot marked Proposal Section. But for the partisan candidates, voters must vote either the Republican Party Section or Democratic Party Section, even when no candidate appears. Voters in Michigan don’t have to declare a party affiliation, but they must vote in only one party section. In other words, an independent or a Democrat can vote the Republican slate, or a Republican or independent can vote the Democratic slate, but nobody can vote for both a Republican and a Democrat. Splitting a ticket (voting for both Republicans and Democrats) will invalidate the candidate ballot, but not the millage proposal ballot.

In the November General Election, it is okay to split a ticket.

Millage is a tax rate, and one mill is equal to $1 in property tax for every $1,000 of taxable value assessed for a house, building, or lot. A homeowner with a taxable value of $90,000, for instance, would pay $90 tax a year for each mill levied. For 0.25 mill, the homeowner would pay $22.50 a year.

Each precinct in every township or city will have its own ballot, but federal and state candidates, most county candidates, and the county millage proposal will appear on each of them.

Federal, State,

County Ballots

For those who want to vote in the Republican Party Section, the ballot will include the following:

United States Senator, three Republican candidates for one office: Clark Durant, Gary Glenn, Randy Hekman, and Pete Hoekstra.

Representative in Congress, Dan Benishek.

Representative in State Legislature, Frank Foster.

County Prosecuting Attorney (vote for 1): Fred Feleppa, J. Stuart Spencer.

Mackinac County Sheriff (vote for 1): Scott Strait, Ivan Wilde.

County Clerk, Mary Kay Tamlyn.

Register of Deeds, Deborah Holle.

County Road Commissioner, Bill Wagner.

County Surveyor, Jeffrey Davis.

Democratic Section candidates will include the following:

United States Senator, Debbie Stabenow.

Representative in Congress, Gary McDowell.

Representative in State Legislature (vote for 1): Jim Martin, Suzanne Shumway.

Treasurer, Nora Massey.

County Road Commissioner, Frank Luepnitz.

County Economic

Enhancement Millage

Every registered voter in the county will have a say as to whether a countywide community economic enhancement millage will be passed. The proposed amount for the millage is 0.25 mill each year for three years. The money will go back to each municipality for community economic enhancement activities. If passed, the millage would raise $226,053 the first year.

Township and City Ballots

In addition to the above ballots, the townships and cities will have their own candidates and millage proposals.

City of Mackinac Island

Local candidates: Two candidates for county road commission and one candidate for county commission. All will be profiled in the next issue of the Town Crier.

Polling Location

7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

City of Mackinac Island, Community Hall, Market Street, Mackinac Island


A photo identification card is required at the polls. Acceptable is a photo identification card issued by the federal government, state, tribe, military, or accredited school. It does not need to include an address.

Absentee Voting

Absentee ballots can be requested by registered voters for the following reasons:

• age 60 years old or older

• unable to vote without assistance at the polls

• expecting to be out of town on election day

• in jail awaiting arraignment or trial

• unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons

• appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

Requests must be in writing and received by the local clerk no later than 2 p.m. Saturday, August 4.

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