Election coverage: All Proposals pass in Michigan
DETROIT — The Motor City Casino Hotel Sound Board shined in all blue lights Tuesday, Nov. 8, as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign party got together to cheer for its governor and proposals on the ballot.
The majority of the crowd enthusiastically welcomed all three proposals to amend the state constitution. The three ballot issues — which address term limits and government transparency, voting accessibility and safety, and reproductive freedoms — all passed, preliminary numbers show.
As of Thursday, with all votes county, preliminary numbers from the Michigan Secretary of State showed:
Proposal 22-1, which sets new term limits for lawmakers and increases fiscal transparency, was approved with 66.3% of voters’ support, compared to 33.7% opposed.
Proposal 22-2 to expand voting rights won with 60% of votes and 40% against it.
Proposal 22-3, protecting the rights of women to healthcare and keeping abortions legal, won with 56.7% support and 43.3% against it.
Prop. 3 got the most passionate reactions and support in Detroit. Audience members wore “Vote YES on Prop. 3” t-shirts and “My body, my choice” pins.
“Proposal 3 was really impactful and important for me, as well as that for my patients,” said Nikki Vinckier, who works in obstetrics and gynecology. On Election Day, a patient came to Vinckier’s office seeking a termination; Vinckier told her she had to wait to see what outcome these elections bring for Prop. 3.
“Abortions are gonna happen whether they’re legal or not,” said Pieter Wingelaar, a supporter at Whitmer’s campaign party. He said Prop. 3 was the biggest issue for him, as a stepdad and a husband.
At Grand Rapids’ JW Marriott Ballroom — where about 200 supporters of Republican challenger Tudor Dixon gathered to freely partake of food, drink and community — the atmosphere was decidedly different. A majority of those in attendance opposed all three propositions, especially Prop. 3.
Party volunteer and GOP member Bill Witte said he prioritizes “right to life, the baby and so on.” He said he favored Dixon’s opposition to Prop. 3 as an important piece of her campaign.
In Detroit, Mallory McMorrow, a Democratic Michigan state senator, said Prop. 1 is a great step in the right direction.
Michigan was one of the few states that had the strictest term limits and no financial disclosure requirements for legislators. McMorrow said Prop. 1 “would give legislators enough time to get to know their draft and still respect the spirit of term limits.”
“I think it’s just a basic thing we have to do to get to a place where people better trust the system,” she said.
However, not all the people in Detroit supported Prop. 1 or felt personal connection with it.
Audrey Smith, a Whitmer campaign supporter, said she voted no on Prop. 1 because it would just add more work for clerks.
DeAmo Murphy said Prop. 1 was the most confusing for him, and Z Aikens, said she had to research and ask family about what Prop. 1 meant, in order to make her decision on how to vote on it.
At Dixon’s campaign event, the proposal was generally opposed but not a hot-button issue.
Prop. 2, easing the voting process, was especially welcomed by young people in Detroit.
University of Michigan students Rachel Zhang and Isabelle Howard said a lot of college students voted absentee this year. They believed if Prop. 2 had failed, voter participation among youth would have decreased.
“When I talk to people who are students, for example, just learning the process or who are working moms, and are busy,” McMorrow said. “A lot of people are busy on election day. And if we can increase early voting and make sure that you not having a stamp is not a barrier ... that’s probably good for our system.”
Central Michigan University alumna of 2017, Sierra Low, said Prop. 2 will make people feel safe for their vote and feel that their vote counts. She believed having those proposals, especially 2 and 3, on a ballot caused a huge voter turnout, because people wanted to protect their rights.
“It’s so important to get our voting rights into state’s constitution,” Low said.
In Grand Rapids, meanwhile, Prop. 2 was generally opposed by attendees, who prioritized secure elections.
Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat U.S. senator from Michigan, said she is a strong supporter of all three proposals.
“They all are extremely important, and particularly Proposal 2 and Proposal 3 are about protecting our freedoms, freedom to vote and freedom to make our own health care decisions,” Stabenow said.
Kurt Heise is a former state representative from Wayne County and the current supervisor of Plymouth Township. The Dixon supporter opposed all three ballot proposals.
“I don’t like any of them,” he said. “I think these things need to be handled at the legislative level by our elected officials.”
The votes mean all three proposals will amend the state constitution.