Inside and outside of Oakland

ELECTION FEVER: Presidential primary and local issues face voters

  Michigan’s statewide presidential primary will dominate election activity Tuesday.
  But some communities have proposals on the ballot as well, and there’s one special election to fill a vacant state House seat.
  In short, voters going to the polls Tuesday in some communities will be participating in two different elections, if they choose.

  The presidential primary is a nominating election for the state’s two political parties. Actually, it’s only a nominating election to award delegates for the Republican presidential nominee because Democrats will award their delegates for their nominee, presumably President Barack Obama, at caucuses in May, even though Obama is on the Democratic ballot.
  Here’s what voters need to know:
  • In communities where there are no special elections or ballot questions, voters can request either a Republican or Democratic ballot to participate in the presidential primary.
  • The Republican primary ballot includes 11 Republican candidates for president, even though most have suspended their campaigns. They are Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Fred Karger, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Rick Perry and Buddy Roemer.
  • The Democratic primary ballot will contain only the name of President Barack Obama.
  • In communities where there are also local issues to be decided, voters can request a Republican ballot or a Democratic ballot. The local issues will be part of both ballots.If voters don’t wish to participate in the presidential primary, they can request a nonpartisan ballot that has just the local issues or ballot questions to be decided, according to the Oakland County Elections Division.
   The communities where there are other issues to be decided, besides the presidential primary, are Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Clawson, Franklin and Ferndale.Here’s a rundown of the local issues on the ballot around the county:
  • Pontiac and Auburn Hills — Voters will pick a new state representative for District 29 to serve out the rest of the year. The vacancy happened when state Rep. Tim Melton (D-Auburn Hills) quit the Legislature to pursue other opportunities. Voters will choose between Democrat Tim Greimel of Auburn Hills and Republican Bob Gray of Pontiac.Pontiac voters also will decide whether the city’s charter should be revised.
  • Clawson — Voters will decide whether to raise property taxes by 4.2398 mills for 10 years for general operations and to restore the original authorized millage that has been rolled back over a number of years because of tax limitation provisions in the state constitution.
  • Franklin — Voters will consider two tax questions. One is a 0.4-mill property tax increase for four years for police services. The second is a 0.5414-mill property tax increase for fire protection.
  • Ferndale Schools — Voters will decide whether to approve a $22.825 million bond issue for school buildings and sites. The estimated annual property tax rate to repay the bonds over 30 years is 4.52 mills.

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