It’s down to the wire for election

By Charles Sercombe

It may not feel like an election here in Hamtramck, but Election Day is indeed coming up.

Next Tuesday voters nationwide will be heading to the polls. For political junkies this election season has offered a lot of drama and suspense. The biggest guess is whether national polls are accurate in predicting a Republican sweep in congress and in state offices.

Locally, there are no seats being contested in city council.

But there is a Hamtramck resident involved in this election. Muhammad Alim is running as an independent in the state representative race. The Democratic candidate, John Olumba, is considered a shoo-in.

Historically this district for state representative and senator overwhelmingly votes for the Democratic candidate. It’s the Primary Election that plays a more important role in deciding who that candidate will be.

Given that tradition, our current State Rep., Bert Johnson, will likely win his bid for Senate. He is facing a Republican candidate, John Chouinard, who has been actively campaigning in Hamtramck.

The top race most voters are interested in is who will become our next governor. Gov. Jennifer Grandholm was termed out and could not seek re-election.

So far, most polls show Rick Snyder, the Republican candidate for governor, has a 20 point lead over his Democratic challenger, Virg Bernero.

Two other highly contested races are for state Attorney General and Secretary of State. The two races are wide open after the incumbents in each office decided to seek other elected office but failed.

In the AG election, it appears Republican candidate Bill Shuette has an edge over Democratic challenger David Leyton.

In the Sectary of State race, recent polls indicate a very close race between Democratic candidate Jocelyn Benson and Republican candidate Ruth Johnson.

While there are no local ballot issues, Hamtramck voters will be asked to decide on two state proposals and a county parks millage renewal.

The first state proposal is whether to have a new state constitution written. Supporters say the state’s constitution is woefully out of date while critics say a revised constitution will cost too much money. The other state proposal seems to be inspired by former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his legal troubles. The proposed law would not allow those who receive felony convictions for violating the public’s trust while holding a position in government from holding public office.

The county parks millage is a renewal for five more years. The tax millage equals about 25 cents per $1,000 of your property’s assessed value. If renewed, the tax is expected to generate $10.6 million in 2011.

Anyone wishing to vote absentee has until Monday to apply and vote. The Clerk’s Office will be open this Saturday (Oct. 30) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to handle absentee voters.

Tuesday’s election precincts will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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