Amid high turnout, Michigan primary precincts run out of ballots

At least three West Michigan polling places ran out of ballots.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Michigan primary: Live, interactive election results

Polling places are busy on this primary election day in Michigan, with some locations reportedly running out of ballots.

Multiple callers at Plainfield Township precinct No. 3 -- the Ambrose Ridge Apartments -- told WZZM that Democratic ballots have run out.

There was some sort of miscommunication between the Kent County clerk's office and this particular precinct, reports WZZM's David Bailey. Democratic ballots destined for this precinct were sent to another by mistake, an official said.

They were without ballots for about two hours, and people were turned away and told to return later.

"They should be prepared, bring extra you should plan for more not less that's something I've learned in the workforce, plan ahead," says Gabriel Espinoza.

Another voter at Wyoming's Bethany United Reformed Church -- precincts 24 and 25 -- said they ran out of Republican ballots for more than an hour.

Turnout is proving to be high across West Michigan. County clerks in Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties tell WZZM that polling places are the busiest they have seen in a primary election in decades.

“I got up at 7 a.m. and started posting on Facebook -- today is primary in Michigan get out and vote, and then I said, ‘I'm going to get out and vote,'” says Pamela Redd, a Muskegon voter.

In Grand Rapids, city clerk Darlene O'Neal said about 26,000 ballots have been processed as of 2 p.m., which equates to about a 20 percent turnout. She expects a 25-28 percent turnout by the end of the day.

In 2012, primary day turnout was 13 percent and in 2008, Grand Rapids saw a 24-percent turnout.

Muskegon City Clerk Ann Meisch said from noon to 1 p.m., there were just more than 3,000 voters in the city. By comparison in the last three elections for the whole day, there were 2,547 last November, 1,810 last August and 3,537 in May.

County clerks expected a high voter turn out because of the interest in both the Republican and Democrat primaries. Some clerks even printed additional ballots to be prepared for such large numbers of voters.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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