Well, here we are. Election Day. A day to celebrate democracy by casting a vote for the people you think are the best to lead your city and school district into the future.
We've been following the election as it happens. We hit up the precincts, talked to voters, reported any issues (or that there aren't any issues) and kept you updated for the 13 hours the polls were open. We'll stick around for however long it takes to report the winners now that the polls are closed.
So, stick with us and hit refresh as much as you want, we don't mind.
Time to get your democracy on!
Read more about the candidates and the election info here.
8 p.m.: The polls have closed.
6:15 p.m.: We caught up with resident Ralph McDowell outside to find out what brought him to the polls. "Mainly to vote for school board," he said. "I'm hoping that Mitchell Moses will be elected. I think he's a good candidate. I don't think there's much else going on (besides the Board of Education race)."
5:47 p.m.: It appears city clerks think alike – at least on Election Day. When asked whether there were any problems on Election Day, Huntington Woods City Clerk Joy Solansky replied much like Berkley City Clerk Cheryl Printz: "I have had no problems today, knock on wood," Solanskey said. "The voter turnout looks like it will be awfully low. Most of the precincts had less than 100 votes when I checked around 4 p.m." As in Berkley, a significant portion of votes appear to be coming in via absentee ballot. As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, 552 absentee ballots had been issued in Huntington Woods, and by the end of the day, 424 had been returned, Solanskey said. "We've had a few stragglers come in today," she said.
5:14 p.m.: "We've had no problems today with our equipment," Berkley City Clerk Cheryl Printz said. "I'm knocking on wood. Closing of the polls is coming up next." Hear that, voters? The clock is ticking, so get to the polls before 8 p.m. and cast your vote while you still can!
3:30 (approximately): "We're up to about 11 percent turnout," Berkley City Clerk Cheryl Printz said. "Precinct 2 (Rogers Elementary School) seems to be the strongest, followed by Precinct 4 (Berkley Community Center), and the rest are just about 9 or 10 percent."
1:35 p.m. (approximately): "Based on the average turnout at (Precincts 1, City Hall; 2, ; 3, ; and 6, ) and absentee votes, we're doing about a 10 percent turnout," said Berkley City Clerk Cheryl Printz, who was waiting for updated counts from Precinct 4 at the Berkley Community Center and Precinct 5 at . She added that 711 absentee ballots, out of 855 that were requested, had just been delivered to be processed. The remaining 144 still can come in until 8 p.m. Tuesday, the deadline for absentee voting. As of midday, Printz said her rough estimate was that approximately 4 percent of votes had been cast at the polls, and approximately 6 percent had been cast via absentee ballot. "It might go up or down a little bit," she said.
1:25 p.m. (approximately): It was a family affair outside Precinct 1 at Berkley City Hall midday Tuesday. A hop, skip and a jump away from Board of Education candidate Melissa Lampela and her mom, Ione Bowie, were campaign volunteers Cathy Ellison, who is married to Board of Education candidate Paul Ellison, and Gary Justice, whose son Ronald Justice also is running for the board. "There hasn't been a lot of people coming and going, but we did get to talk with everyone who came by," joked Justice. "Most people park over there," Ellison said with a laugh as she pointed across the road, "or down the street to avoid us." On a more serious note, Justice, of Farmington Hills, said he thinks "the citizens with kids are going to vote because it's pretty important what goes on with the board."
1:10 p.m. (approximately): "It seems like we don't have that big of a turnout, and I've been to all of the precincts," said Board of Education candidate Melissa Lampela, who was campaigning with her mom Ione Bowie outside precinct 1 at Berkley City Hall. "It's been so quiet, I think a lot of people have been talking about the absentee votes being the election-maker." Lampela's mom said she drove an hour and a half from her home in the Thumb area to volunteer for her daughter's campaign.
10:45 a.m.: Berkley City Council member Dan Terbrack, who is running for re-election, said outside precinct 4 at the Community Center that he thinks the lack of contested municipal elections in Berkley and Huntington Woods will contribute to a low turnout Tuesday. Only the races for seats on the Berkley School District Board of Education are competitive. "I think 14 or 15 percent is what we'll get today," he said. "I would be happy if we got 18 percent. I would be thrilled." Terbrack said he and his wife Jacqueline, with their daughter Addison in tow, voted at 7:30 a.m. at precinct 1 at . Their votes were numbers 12 and 13, respectively, he said.
10:41 a.m.: Berkley election official Lysle Smith said 38 votes had been cast at Berkley precinct 4 at the Community Center.
10:25 a.m. (approximately): , and her husband visited Berkley precinct 4 at the .
8:59 a.m.: Huntington Woods Election Chairperson Jennifer Bartleman said 18 votes had been cast so far precinct 5 at the .
8:55 a.m.: Despite the gray skies and drizzle, campaigning for the Board of Education race was under way outside Huntington Woods precinct 5 at the . Candidates Paul Ellison and Paul Honkala, as well as Sallie Justice, the wife of candidate Ronald Justice, hefted signs and chatted with a voter or two. "I'm glad I sent out mailers to absentee voters in all three communities," Ellison said, in reference to the rain, which often keeps voter turnout low. Honkala, chimed in: "It could be worse. It could be snowing!"
8:44 a.m.: Huntington Woods resident Jan Weiss Dembs was preparing to vote at precinct 5 at the , but also had a couple other to-dos to tick off her list while she was there. "I vote in every election," said Dembs, who also was picking up some Huntington Woods merchandise from the and posting cards for her pet-sitting business on the community bulletin board. "This is a rainy day, so you hope people will come out because sometimes they don't when it's rainy," she said. "Plus, I have some people I want to see get elected in the . Two of the people I know. One is Mitch Moses and the other is (Ronald) Justice."
7 a.m.: The polls open on this wet, 50-degree Tuesday.