PRESS RELEASE from Michigan Secretary of State

Election preparation pays off
Contact:  (Media Contact) Kelly Chesney 517-373-2520
Agency: Secretary of State

NOVEMBER 5, 2008

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is crediting well-prepared voters and election officials with Michigan's Election Day success. While results are unofficial, Land's turnout estimate of over 5 million voters -- a Michigan record -- appears on target.

Voters in many precincts had wait times longer than expected, but Land said that voters, election officials and everyone involved did an outstanding job of working together to help make the process run as smoothly as possible.

"Voters and election officials took their respective responsibilities seriously," Land said. "Their preparation and commitment are commendable. Voters went to the polls with a good understanding of the process. Election officials used their extensive training to serve voters as efficiently as possible. Months of education, outreach and training have paid off. We can all take great pride in Michigan's election milestone."

With roughly 5.1 million voters visiting more than 5,000 precincts statewide, minor issues were bound to surface, Land said. For example, ballot tabulators had to be emptied frequently due to the huge turnout.

"Local election officials did a great job of working through any issues that popped up," Land said. "Considering the number of voters at the polls, the process worked quite well."

A turnout of 5.1 million voters represents 68 percent of Michigan's 7.4 million registered voters. Turnout figures will remain unofficial until certified by the Board of State Canvassers, which will meet no later than Nov. 24.

In the 2004 presidential election, nearly 7.2 million residents were registered to vote and over 4.8 million, or 67.5 percent, cast ballots. The highest voter-turnout percentage was in 1960, when nearly 73 percent of the state's 3.4 million registered voters cast ballots.

The department also will post official election returns when they're available. Click on the "Elections in Michigan" bar. Unofficial results are being posted as well.