Southwest Michigan Today: Monday November 5, 2018

Nov 5, 2018

File photo of Recount of Kalamazoo County State Senate Race in 2014
Credit WMUK

Tuesday’s election could see higher turnout in Southwest Michigan and throughout the state. A Senate hearing on PFAS contamination will be held next week. WMU hosts a quarterfinal match Tuesday in the MAC men’s soccer tournament. 

(Kalamazoo Gazette) There are indications that turnout could be higher than normal in Southwest Michigan for Tuesday’s election. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports there has been an increase in the number of registered voters in Kalamazoo County. About 1,400 more voters are on the rolls than there were two years ago. Kalamazoo County Clerk Tim Snow says the number of absentee ballots requested is only a few hundred less than the Presidential Election in 2016. There is usually lower turnout in mid-term election years. Snow says the Michigan Bureau of Elections has advised clerks to have more voting booths available than they normally do during midterm elections.

(WKAR) Michigan officials are expressing confidence in the security and accuracy of voting technology ahead of Tuesday’s election. Since the 2016 election, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says Michigan has obtained new voting equipment, and $11-million in federal security grants have upgraded systems. Spokesman Fred Woodhams says tabulators are not connected to the internet, and post-election audits will verify that voting machines tabulated ballots properly.

(WKAR) Young voters could play a crucial role in Tuesday’s election results, and groups on both sides of the political spectrum are working to get them to the polls. The liberal advocacy group NextGen Michigan is working to increase voter turnout for people ages 18-35. Since January of this year, the group says they’ve registered 40,000 young voters in the state The group is using digital ads, in-person events and texts. The founder of the James Madison College Conservatives on the campus of Michigan State University says his group is working to get young voters out by hosting forums to help people on all points of the political spectrum find common ground. Election officials say based on the number of absentee ballots, Tuesday could be a record for voter turnout.

(MLive) A Michigan scientist who warned about water being contaminated by PFASes will be among the witnesses at a field hearing next week. U.S. Senator Gary Peters has called the hearing for November 13th at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids. MLive reports that Michigan Department of Environmental Quality geologist Robert Delaney will be among the witnesses at the hearing. Delaney wrote a 2012 report that warned Michigan citizens faced significant exposure to PFASes. High levels of PFASes have been at several sites around Michigan, including Parchment, where residents were advised not to drink city water this summer. Parchment has since been hooked up to the city of Kalamazoo’s water system.

(Michigan Radio) Michigan voters will decide Tuesday if they want to legalize recreational marijuana. There are conflicting views on whether legal weed will make streets more dangerous. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found an increase in collision claims in states after marijuana legalization. A different study found no increase in car fatalities in states where pot is legal.

Western Michigan will host Northern Illinois Tuesday to begin the Mid-American Conference men’s soccer tournament. The Broncos are the number three seed. The winner of Tuesday's match at the WMU soccer complex will play in the MAC semifinals Friday in Morgantown, West Virginia.

In hockey, Kalamazoo ended a four game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Idaho Sunday. The K-Wings play two home games this weekend. They host Toledo Friday and Brampton Saturday night at Wings Event Center.