By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck’s stunning Primary Election has raised a number of questions.
Namely, just how deep does Hamtramck’s Bengali voting bloc go? That community came out en masse and boosted the three Bengali council candidates to the top.
It’s also a good guess that the Bengali voters helped mayoral candidate Abdul Algazali come within striking distance of upsetting Mayor Karen Majewski’s re-election effort.
The Review received a computer file on who voted in the Primary. Counting the names that appeared to be of Bengali or Yemeni (Algazali is a Yemeni-American) origin, it looks like that voting bloc numbers about 1,000.
Some 2,461 voters participated in the election. That number of voters is unheard of in a Hamtramck Primary Election. Still, even though that was a record high, there are over 11,000 registered voters in the city.
That means only 22 percent of the voters turned out.
A General Election in November usually attracts 3,000 or more voters. But it’s anyone’s guess what the turnout will be this year. The General Election also features a public school board race and a tax millage proposal to purchase a fire truck and ambulance.
The next election has the possibility to shatter previous turnout records.
A question remains on whether the Bengali voter bloc goes past 1,000 voters. Political observers believe there may be as many as 1,300 to 1,500 Bengali voters.
One thing has to be handed to the Bengali candidates: they got their community out to the polls to vote.
What the other candidates have to do at this point is identify who didn’t come out to vote and motivate them to participate. There are some 9,000 voters to go after.