This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Election 2013: What the absentee vote totals provided by City Hall tell us.

On election day, November 5 2013, the votes 750 residents of the City of Bloomfield Hills  were counted. 248 voted by going to Precinct 1 (City Hall) or Precinct 2 (Congregation Church) and voting in person. 502 voted by absentee.

The numerical superiority of the absentee voter was double that of the In precinct voter. In an election where 1750 total votes were cast from a possible 2250,(each voter had  three votes) the absentee voters had the potential clout of 1506 votes. In Precinct voters had a 756 votes to cast.

A curious statistic is the number of residents who requested absentee ballots, received them. but do not return them. There were 82 such potential voters in the last election who represented  a clout of 246 potential votes. Divide that number by 4 for the four candidates  and you get 61 and fraction. In an election in which 112 votes plus or minus would move any candidate up or down a notch, that is indeed cutting it close.

Who is to blame for not returned absentee votes ? Traditionally that would be the fault of the Candidates for being uninspiring. After all the candidates are  supposed to serve as catalysts separating  the absentee ballots from the magnets on refrigerator 
doors  and off TV tops and getting them dispatched to to the ballot boxes. 

It has been said the  the Precinct voter enjoys seeing his or her vote go into the voting machine and thus get counted.
To provide similar enjoyment for absentee voters the State of Michigan on the Secretary of State's (SOS) web site had a box that allowed the voter to track his or her vote.
 There were three dates in the sequence.The day you request an absentee ballot, the day it sent to you by the City, and the date you returned the ballot it to the City Hall. 

The City began sending out Absentee ballots in early October. Around the Ninth it published  list of approximately 500 voters people who requested absentee ballots. That number compared quite favorably to the 597 who voted by absentee ballot in the 2012 City election whose vote total was bolstered the school millage.

According to voter lists requested by the candidates. All absentee ballots completed by residents were returned to the City on only one of two dates. The dates  were October 25th, eleven days before the election, and November 4th the eve of the election.

While a seemingly amazing coincidence it most likely that City didn't get around processing absentee votes until those dates occurred. Therefore for the most of the election  candidates were in the dark as to  which absentee voters had "voted" by returning their ballot and who was still undecided. When asked about the phenomena of absentee ballots arriving on just two days, it was explained that City Hall other duties to attend to. Certainly a valid consideration but indicative of a one size fits all approach which on election day would combine absentee and precinct votes.
Clearly it was not the better election we had been promised the year before when the change was made to go bi-annual election in odd years only.

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