by STEVE GRIMM
Cannon Township Supervisor
On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the voters in Michigan participated in a primary election. Though it was only a primary, in our area the result meant that the victors would prevail in the general election this November, because for most races, there is no competition in the general election. It is always interesting to dissect the numbers in any election, but particularly in a primary. For example, in some townships, voter turnout averaged at or below 20 percent of all registered voters. In Cannon, which had the highest turnout in the area, those voting in the six precincts averaged just under 26 percent of eligible voters. No precinct was below 22 percent. The highest voter turnout was in precinct three, which encompasses the west side of Lake Bella Vista, where voter turnout was 32 percent.
These numbers contrast with precincts in some neighboring townships, where voter turnout in contested races was as low as 15 percent in some precincts. Why Cannon’s turnout is so much higher than surrounding areas is not completely clear. As an incumbent, I like to think it is because voters want to express their satisfaction with the way things are going. This view, at least in part, is supported by the numbers. In some townships in our area, well publicized issues regarding negative opinions of township management, real or imagined, permeated the news. In those townships, voter turnout was lowest.
Cannon is a very well run township. We listen to the residents both at board meetings and by including them in committees. We have taken a conservative approach to spending, which has added over 500,000 dollars to our general fund balance. We aggressively tackle issues before they become problems, and we have required that our employees and elected officials who receive health benefits pay 20 percent of the costs associated with that coverage, even though we are not mandated to do so by the state. Given the results of the last election, it appears that that success is not lost on the voters. So, to those who did vote, thank you, and we will continue to listen.