3.8 million voters set off-year record

Image: Vote November 7

Voting equipment passes general election test

NOVEMBER 8, 2006

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land announced today that approximately 53 percent of registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, setting a Michigan record for a non-presidential election with turnout of 3.8 million, pending final Oakland County results.

This was the first general election in Michigan history in which all voters used optical scan voting equipment. It also marked the first November election in which voters with disabilities could use new AutoMARK ballot-marking equipment.

"For the third major election in a row, Michigan's voters have set a turnout record," Land said. "Regardless of which candidates won or lost and which proposals passed or failed, our representative democracy has been strengthened, and that bodes well for our entire state."

Last week, Land estimated that 3.4 million voters would participate. The previous record for an off-year election was set in 2002 when 3.2 million residents cast ballots. Michigan set its all-time turnout record in the presidential election of 2004, when 4.8 million people voted.

Land said there were some minor problems with the voting equipment statewide, which was not unexpected given that thousands of optical scan tabulators and AutoMARK machines were in use.

She credited the many thousands of election workers across the state for their dedicated efforts to move voters through the process as smoothly as possible.

"Faced with the challenge of implementing the state's new voting equipment and meeting voter needs, Michigan's poll workers and election officials performed their duties remarkably well," Land said. "The people of Michigan are very fortunate to have so many dedicated individuals working on their behalf."

The voter turnout figures will remain unofficial until certified by the Board of State Canvassers, which will meet no later than Nov. 27.

There were 7.18 million Michigan voters registered to participate in the Nov. 7 election.

The Secretary of State's Bureau of Elections will post official election returns, when they are available, on its Web site at www.Michigan.gov/sos. Click on the "Elections in Michigan" bar. Unofficial results are currently available on the site.