Michigan August primary sets record for highest voter turnout

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Yesterday, Michigan voters went to the polls in strong numbers to cast their ballot in the August primary.

An estimated 2 million people voted, setting a new turnout record and breaking the previous record that had been in place since 2002. The major draw this year was the open seat for governor, with both parties entrenched in competitive primary races. This was the first governor primary race since 2010 that had open tickets for both parties, likely a contributing factor that energized voters.

According to the Michigan Secretary of State, the turnout was so high that some precincts ran low on ballots.

As reported by MLive, 53 percent of voters cast their ballots for Democratic candidates in the non-split ticket race, while 47 percent voted for Republican candidates. This near-even split marks a gap closure since the August 2010 primary which saw 67 percent of voters selecting Republican candidates.

Gretchen Whitmer took the Democratic nomination for governor by winning the vote from 50 percent of Democratic voters. She was trailed by Abdul El-Sayed with 34 percent, and Shri Thanedar with 15 percent. On the Republican side, Bill Schuette garnered 51 percent of votes, knocking out Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Sen. Patrick Colbeck, and businessman Jim Hines.

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