DEARBORN — Several municipalities in Michigan will hold elections on Tuesday, November 5, with key positions up for grabs in many of the state’s and Wayne County’s most populous cities.
New to this year’s election is a state law that allows voters to register to vote on the day of the election, although the state encourages voters to get registered ahead of time.
Michigan voters are now free to snap so-called “ballot selfies” in the voter’s booth this year as the result of a settlement negotiated by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson this spring.
Acceptable photo IDs to use for those who wish to vote include a Michigan driver’s license or state-issued ID card, a driver’s license or personal identification card issued by another state, federal or state government-issued photo identification, a U.S. passport, a military ID with photo, a student identification card with photo from a high school or accredited institution of higher learning or a tribal identification cards with photo.
Key races, ballot issues to watch among Michigan cities
While this year’s election won’t feature the fireworks expected for 2020’s presidential election, it still includes many key issues that will shape the lives of residents across the Metro Detroit area and the Arab American community.
In Dearborn, a $240 million bond proposal for Dearborn Public Schools has been the subject of intense campaigning and will be up for a vote on Tuesday.
Dubbed the Buildings, Renovations, Infrastructure, Capacity and Safety or BRICS proposal, the measure has been endorsed by the Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC). The money would mostly be used for infrastructure improvements in Dearborn Schools. Proponents point out that taxes will be the same if the measure passes, while opponents mostly favor constructing new buildings in the District, which they say would be more cost effective.
In Dearborn Heights,incumbents Dave Abdallah, Lisa Hicks-Clayton and Ray Muscat will attempt to hold off newcomers Larry Henney, Stephen Henry and Rose Tripepi in the race for three City Council seats. AAPAC has endorsed Abdallah and Hicks-Clayton.
In Westland, seven candidates will compete for four open City Council seats. Incumbents include Mike McDermott, Andrea Rutkowski, James Godbout and Michael Londeau. Gilbert and Godbout have been endorsed by AAPAC.
Hamtramck‘s City Council race will feature six candidates vying for three seats. Those running are Saad Almasmari, Nayeem Choudhury, Carrie Beth Lasley, Robert Zwolak, Mohammed Alsomiri and Mohammed Hassan.
In Inkster, Mayor Byron Nolen will face off against challenger Patrick Wimberly. Nolen has been endorsed by AAPAC.
Voters will also elect candidates to the six-member City Council, which is divided into districts.
George V. Williams and Aaron Sims will face off for the District I seat. Sims is endorsed by AAPAC.
La’Gina Washington, who is also endorsed by AAPAC, and Charmaine Kennedy will compete for the District II seat.
In District III, Councilwoman Sandra K. Watley will face challenger Christha Bond, while Councilman Steven Chisholm will attempt to hold off challenger Rebecca J. Daniels in District IV.
Councilwoman Kim Howard will face challenger Kelli Lindsey in District V, while Councilwoman Connie Rose Mitchell will attempt to keep her seat in the face of competition from challenger Dennard Shaw in District VI.
In Warren, controversial incumbent Mayor Jim Fouts, who was recently accused of creating a “racially hostile” work environment in a recently filed lawsuit by his former city and police commissioner Gregory Murray, will face a challenge from his one-time aide and current Councilwoman Kelly Colegio.
Four candidates will also vie for two at-large seats on the City Council: former State Rep. and former councilman Patrick Green, Angela Rogensues, Diane Young and Gary Boike.
In Sterling Heights, Mayor Michael Taylor is running unopposed for his seat, while nine candidates will compete for six two-year terms on the City Council.
They are Brian K. Alsobrooks, Nicholas A. Cavalli, Jazmine M. Early, incumbent Deanna Koski, incumbent Michael Radtke, incumbent Maria G. Schmidt, Mayor Pro Tem Liz Sierawski and incumbent Barbara A. Ziarko.
Polls open on November 5 at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Polling locations and information on how to register can be found on the Michigan Secretary of State’s website at https://www.michigan.gov/sos/. The site also provides sample ballots.