When normal seems noteworthy
Primary Election Day on Aug. 2 proceeded at a normal pace.
Daytime voters trickled in, as they normally do, with the occasional spikes before and after normal working hours.
Turnout was at its usual with midterm primaries, 30 to 40%.
No-reason absentee voting continued to assert itself as a preferred voting method of non-partisan convenience.
Even before the election, public accuracy testing sported its usual crowds — of all-but-empty rooms.
After all of the election tension, we didn’t know what to expect but in this case normal seems noteworthy.
And while it’s also normal to take our election workers for granted, they, too, are noteworthy for so many reasons.
Michigan just experienced a safe and smooth election, carried off by the 1,600 township, city and county clerks in the state, their staff members and the cadre of election workers who keep the democratic engines humming.
Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state and top election official, thanked this group for their “efforts and integrity.”
Nationally, this contingent has faced more than 1,000 cases of harassing and intimidating messages since the 2020 election, according to Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite who reported to a special U.S. Senate hearing last week. Of these cases, about 100 rise to the level of prosecution, three people have been charged, and one person has been convicted, according to PBS coverage of the hearing.
Benson testified to the group about her experience with protesters gathered outside her home in December 2020, and called on leaders to increase spending on election security.
According to PBS, a bipartisan bill in the Senate would double the federal penalties to up to two years in prison for those who threaten election workers, poll watchers, voters or candidates.
We both support these moves and hope they’re unnecessary.
Currently, bipartisan boards of county canvassers are examining the unofficial results of the election, will conduct any recounts, and certify amended results. Then the Board of State Canvassers will review the election again and then vote to certify its findings before results are official.
We wish for continued normalcy and thank the officials and election workers for their help in making it so.