Election 2020 | Michigan Radio
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Election 2020

Michigan's presidential primary was March 10, the state primary was August 4, and the general election is on November 3. 

Find Michigan Radio's comprehensive coverage of the 2020 election below. 

HIGHLIGHTS:

polling place sign
Tony Brown / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court is the next stop in a legal fight over whether guns can be openly carried at polling places on Election Day. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel say guns can be intimidating – especially in a contentious election. But gun rights advocates say the state can’t step on a right that’s guaranteed under state law.

Polling station sign
user jaina / Creative Commons

Today on Stateside, the role of election challengers at the polls. Also, a Mt. Pleasant photographer uses striking portraits to call attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women. And a conversation about the Arab American voting bloc in Michigan.

i voted stickers
Unsplash

Four years ago, around 26% of Arab Americans in the U.S. said that they were leaning toward voting for Donald Trump for president ahead of the election. Since then, Trump has banned travel to and from numerous countries with majority Muslim populations, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought economic and health hardships to every community—including Arab American ones. But there are still many people in these communities who prefer Trump’s conservative, social, or fiscal approaches to leadership.

sign marking poll distance banning campaigning at polling places
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Michigan appeals court has rejected an appeal from a Democratic state official who wants to ban the open carry of guns outside polling places. The court says said voter intimidation already is illegal.

When Sam Peterson enrolled at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, he found the college experience mind-boggling. So too, he says, was figuring out how to vote in the 2018 midterm elections.

"Even though I had helped out with voter registration drives, I still felt confused about how to register. I didn't know what voting by mail was or absentee voting was," said Peterson, who is now 21 and a fellow with the left-leaning NextGen Iowa. "So then, I was just really overwhelmed with school and with this voting thing, and so I didn't vote in 2018."

gary peters headshot
Gary Peters for Senate

Michigan voters will choose a U.S. senator on Election Day. Republican John James is challenging Democratic Senator Gary Peters, who is seeking his second term. 

Peters spoke with Michigan Radio's Doug Tribou.

Khadijah Brown
Courtesy of Khadijah Brown

We’ve been talking to folks across the state to hear what’s on their minds this election season in our series Voter Voices.

For performing artist and activist Khadijah Brown, policing is very much on her mind as she heads to the polls.

Earlier this year she co-founded a group called Uplift Kalamazoo to help the Black community and address systemic racism in the city.

Polling station sign
user jaina / Creative Commons

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel say it’s not too late to reinstate a ban on openly carrying guns at or near polling places on Election Day.

They are appealing a court ruling that struck down a directive from Benson that banned open carry in and near polling places on Election Day.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s place as a pivotal swing state in next Tuesday’s presidential election is clear, based on its frequency on the itineraries of the major presidential campaigns.  

Vice President Mike Pence is the latest candidate to make Michigan a stop on the presidential campaign trail.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel have appealed a judge’s October 27 decision to block a ban on firearms at polling places this year. Benson has argued that open carry amounts to a form of voter intimidation at polling places. But some gun rights advocates disagree.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we talk about Detroit voters and what turnout looks like in the Motor City. Plus, a conversation with the Sheriff of Livingston County about Secretary Benson’s order against firearms at the polls.

Dave Todd is a police officer in Southeast Michigan.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

People in Michigan have some big decisions to make on November 3. So with the election just around the corner, we’re talking to voters across the state to hear about what’s on their minds in our series, Voter Voices.

Dave Todd has worked as a police officer for over 20 years in Southeast Michigan. Like many people, he's thinking about the future of policing.


Abigail Censky / WKAR

President Donald Trump visited Michigan on Tuesday for the second time since he was diagnosed with COVID-19. 

After waiting several hours in the cold and rain outside of an airplane hangar, a crowd of supporters got to see Trump.

The president made false claims about the auto industry and being Michigan man of the year, before attacking Governor Gretchen Whitmer. He avoided calls to imprison the governor but didn't condemn the crowd, as they chanted, "Lock her up."

sign marking poll distance banning campaigning at polling places
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A judge has blocked a ban on the open display of guns near Michigan polling places on Election Day. Judge Christopher Murray acted Tuesday, just a few hours after hearing a challenge from gun-rights groups.

Unless it’s reversed by a higher court, it applies to voting places and absentee counting boards November 3. The only exception would be churches and other places that are already allowed to forbid the open carry of guns.

Vote Here sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Chapter of the NAACP is urging city residents to be vigilant in the face of any potential voter intimidation.

The activities of militia groups in the state and the alleged terrorist plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer – have raised concerns and rumors about safety at the polls.

shoulder of a us customs and border protection officer
Glenn Fawcett / U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Today on Stateside, we check in with a reporter who’s been following the race for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District. Also, a Canadian member of parliament discusses a U.S. plan to collect DNA samples from some detainees at the Canadian border. Plus, how the 24-year-old mayor of East Lansing has navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adobe Stock

Election Day is in one week, and it’s becoming more apparent that this one will probably be a bit different than previous presidential elections. This is mainly to do with the fact that the country is in the midst of a global pandemic (which is growing increasingly worse), and millions of Americans will be voting by mail.

There is a lot of speculation about what this election will look like. But after worries over election security, warnings from election officials about delays, and demands from the president that the country "must have final total" on November 3, voters will probably be on alert for anything to go wrong.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

With one week to go before Election Day, a Secretary of State office spokesman says two out of every three absentee ballots Michiganders requested have already been returned to local clerk’s offices.

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A lawsuit is challenging the rules ordered by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for partisan poll challengers on Election Day.

The complaint says distancing and face covering directives will make it too difficult for poll challengers to see what’s going on as voters are checked in at voting sites.

Two auto workers on an assembly line
AUTOMOTIVEAUTO.INFO

Today on Stateside, only eight days remain until Election Day. We take a look at the race for the 3rd congressional district currently held by U.S. Representative Justin Amash (L-MI 3). And what auto workers are listening for from presidential candidates.  Also, a new country album offers a wistful twang for these trying times.

U.S. Senate

With the presidential election only a week away, Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) campaigned at a handful of drive-in events in Metro Detroit Sunday.

Harris barnstormed from Detroit’s suburbs to the city itself saying the stakes are too high in this election for voters to just stay home as some Democrats did in 2016.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

What is Proposal N?

Proposal N (“N” stands for neighborhoods) is a measure Detroit voters have on their ballots this election year.

If voters approve Proposal N, the city will have the go-ahead to issue $250 million in bonds for blight remediation—that is, either taking down or rehabbing much of the city’s remaining stock of vacant homes. Proposal N proposes to tackle around 16,000 of those vacant properties, with around 8,000 salvageable homes targeted for rehab, and another 8,000 for demolition.

Spartan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Big Ten football returns this weekend. A sports columnist talks us through what collegiate football games will be like in a pandemic year. Also, a look at what life was like for African American people in Michigan prior to the Civil War. Plus, a Black family wonders whether they’re still welcome in their home in Cadillac.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

About 800 people trudged across a muddy field to get to the airport in Waterford Township where Vice President Mike Pence was to speak. Speakers blared country music and 70s rock songs while a crowd of about 800 waited for Pence, half of them not wearing masks.

He said he and President Donald Trump created the greatest economy in the history of the world, made the military strong again, and saved lives in how they handled the coronavirus pandemic. More than 210,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. Pence promised a vaccine is coming soon.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

In November of 1974, Richard Vander Veen was elected to the U.S. Congress from what was then Michigan’s fifth district.

Vander Veen was from Grand Rapids. He had won a special election earlier that year, after the previous incumbent, Gerald Ford, was named Vice President. Vander Veen was the first Democrat in 60 years to be elected to represent the area in Congress. But, two years later, he lost re-election, and no Democrat has held the seat since.

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have their final debate Thursday night in Nashville.

Follow NPR's live coverage, including updates and fact checks.

Unsplash

This Election Day is likely to be a bit different from those of years past: State election officials have been warning voters that it’s possible we won’t know the outcome of the presidential election and all the down-ballot races by election night. That’s because there’s been an increase in absentee voting, which is allowed for all Michigan voters and offers a safe alternative to voting in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voting errors a bigger risk than voter fraud in Michigan

Oct 21, 2020
voting stickers
Unsplash

President Trump and many of his supporters have called into question the validity of voting by mail. But documented instances of voting fraud are few and far between. Rather than fraud, perhaps absentee voters should be focused on following the rules.

Here in Michigan, Macomb County GOP Chair Mark Forton says his faith that President Trump will be re-elected is limited by just one thing.

ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

In the last presidential election more than 250,000 Michigan voters cast their ballots for third-party or write-in candidates. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes.

Shikha Dalmia is an avowed Libertarian, but sees a bigger concern than supporting her party in the 2020 presidential election.

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