From the presidential race to local proposals, here’s your hub for how Michigan votes on the most heated seats and statewide races this November.
MICHIGAN—Eyes are on Michigan as results come in from a historic 2020 election.
While Michigan shattered records requesting absentee ballots to vote early, local clerks will spend the next two weeks counting ballots that could have been delayed by the US Postal Service.
We’re following each of Michigan’s top races and preparing to give you the full picture when results are officially called.
Here are the ballot items we’re watching across the state:
November 7, 2020 // 11:35 AM EST
AP, Reuters, The New York Times and multiple other news sources have declared that Joe Biden has accrued the necessary electoral votes to become the next President of the United States.
Legal challenges like those already rejected in Michigan are expected to continue for some time, but based on the tabulated votes across the United States, Biden is projected to be inaugurated on January 20th.
November 5, 2020 // 1:00 PM EST
Rep. Dan Kildee is the Chief Deputy Whip for the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives. Prior to serving the greater Flint area in Congress Kildee ran the Genesee County Land Bank. He first ran in 2012 to replace his uncle, Dale Kildee, who represented the 5th for over 30 years.
Kildee defeated Republican Tim Kelly, a former member of the Michigan House of Representatives representing Saginaw County. He described himself as “Pro-Life, Pro-Gun and Pro-Growth.” In a district that went for Joe Biden, Kelly’s full-throated support of President Donald Trump was likely not a benefit to Kelly.
Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin successfully flipped her district in 2018 with the defeat of former Rep. Mike Bishop. Slotkin, a former CIA agent and former assistant secretary of defense is seeking to defend her seat. She’s defeated former assistant district attorney and former Lansing-area news anchor Paul Junge this year, who failed to flip back the 8th.
Slotkin is focused on uniting people in Michigan and in Washington as America prepares to take on major challenges.
When then-incumbent Republican Rep. David Trott did not seek re-election, Democrat Haley Stevens managed to defeat Republican Lena Epstien to flip the district. Prior to running for office, Stevens worked at the Department of the Treasury helping the auto industry recover from the recession of 2008.
Stevens defeated Republican Eric Esshaki. A former nurse-turned-lawyer, Esshaki is deeply religious and feels that Congress is not committed enough to core conservative values.
November 5, 2020 // 12:30 PM EST
The first proposal on the back of the Michigan ballot is about how park funding works across the state.
Presently, the trust fund for natural resources in the state is capped, and parks can’t seek grants to develop new structural changes to their parks, limiting the resources that can be drawn on for those projects. Moreover, the resources available for those structural improvements from the state park funds aren’t guaranteed to be used for that purpose, meaning what resources parks do have available they need to fight for.
Proposal 1 changes all that. The proposal is a constitutional amendment in Michigan that would send the first $800 million in money raised by the sale of oil and gas on state-owned land to the state parks fund and everything after that would go into the trust fund for natural resources. A quarter of that fund would be assigned to conservation efforts and a quarter of it would be assigned to public recreation.
The other proposal this November, also a constitutional amendment, is fairly straightforward. As it stands, things like electronic data, text messages and emails exist in a sort of legal limbo. When the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment was drafted, a person’s data was in papers and books, physical objects that law enforcement would need to enter a premises to obtain. That’s changed dramatically in the last 250 years.
Right now, law enforcement can read your emails without a warrant. In Katz v. US, the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment’s protections against warrantless searches extended to anywhere that Americans have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” which remains undefined for a digital world.
Proposal 2 gives Michiganders that expectation of privacy. It explicitly adds electronic data and communications to Michigan’s definition of things protected from unreasonable searches under the federal Fourth Amendment.
November 4, 2020 // 8:27 PM EST
Late Wednesday it was called that Michigan’s freshman senator was returning for a second term in Washington.
Freshman Sen. Gary Peters has done a lot in the last six years, being responsible for more laws signed than any other senator in the same time period. He’s lately been focused on fighting for the Postal Service and against the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
To secure re-election, Peters defeated John James, who previously attempted unsuccessfully to unseat Sen. Debbie Stabenaw. James famously said he was “2,000%” behind President Trump and has called Trump the only thing preventing anarchy in footage leaked to The ‘Gander.
November 4, 2020 // 5:55 PM EST
Bridget Mary McCormack was re-elected to the position of Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Along with McCormack, Elizabeth Welch is projected to become a Justice. Together, the pair of women from Michigan represent a rebalancing of the scales of justice in Michigan.
Following the state Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus protections, the seats on the court became a center-stage referendum on those protections. The rebalance of the court following the Nov. 3 election could change how the court rules on those issues going forward.
November 4, 2020 // 4:55 PM EST
Democratic challenger Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump in the must-win state of Michigan.
Trump has had a tumultuous term of office, recently culminating in a global health crisis. Trump himself contracted the coronavirus in early October but has still engaged in public events and rarely worn personal protective equipment around crowds. He lost Michigan to former Biden who has, by contrast, engaged in rigorous coronavirus safety measures and touts a well-developed plan. Biden also helped chart America’s course out of the 2008 recession, which he argues will be valuable in a post-pandemic America.
November 4, 2020 // 12:21 PM EST
Incumbent Democrat Andy Levin, son of former Rep. Sander Levin and nephew of former Sen. Carl Levin, will be defending his seat against one of two Republicans in November.
Levin defeated self-styled “constitutional patriot” Charles Langworthy, who recommended voters read the constitution and the Bible to better understand his approach to government. Langworthy’s policy positions largely align with President Trump’s.
Debbie Dingell has been the Democrat representing the 12th since her late husband, John Dingell, retired in 2014. Dingell previously served on the Board of Governors for Wayne State University.
Jeff Jones failed to unseat Dingell again, following attempts to unseat her in both 2016 and 2018 as well. Jones’ attempts to defeat Dingell might have something to do with how popular she and her family are in her district.
Incumbent Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress, who has gone on to be a member of “the Squad”, four progressive women of color elected for the first time in 2018 and acting as outspoken critics of President Trump and Republicans. She faced off against David Dudenhoefer, chair of the local Republican party.
Tlaib will continue representing Michigan in “the Squad” for at least two more years.
A fierce post office advocate and former postal worker in an age marked by the increased politicization of the Postal Service, Rep. Brenda Lawrence will continue representing Southfield.
Lawrence defeated Republican challenger Robert Vance Patrick, who touted his work with the Belle Isle aquarium but seemed to offer little in the way of concrete ideas.
November 4, 2020 // 12:02 AM EST
With over half of Michigan’s precincts still out and with few of those precincts having reported their absentee ballots, getting results on election night is unlikely. And that’s okay, explains The ‘Gander’s political reporter Katelyn Kivel explains why a longer count is a more secure and accurate count, especially during a historic election.
And from the Secretary of State to voters to our contributing therapist Erica Carulli, Michiganders are talking about how to make it through the next few days of uncertainty.
And for a total rundown of what happened election day, check our Election Day live blog.