Ingham one of few counties to complete recount

A statewide recount of Michigan’s votes in the presidential election died in the courts and was suspended or never started in most Michigan counties, but was completed in Ingham County. Overseeing operations at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason, County Clerk Barb Byrum and a staff of volunteers account for almost 135,000 ballots. Byrum said, “it has been a monumental undertaking. Tables and chairs, projectors and screens being taken to the fairground, a printer this afternoon, over 300 emails for people who are interested. I currently have 50 workers and need more.”

Lines fill the stairs as students wait anxiously to cast their vote Presidential Election on Nov. 8, 2016 at the IM West Building in East Lansing, Michigan.

East Lansing voter registrations spike from 2012 to 2016

Leanne Pregizer was eligible to register to vote for the 2012 election, but chose not to because she didn’t know how to go about it. In 2016, a friend told her about Turbovote, a nonprofit website that helps people register to vote, update registration or request an absentee ballot. “The site was really easy to use, and they laid out the steps really well,” said Pregizer, Michigan State University law student . Online efforts like Turbovote, along with heavy voter registration efforts by campus groups, helped contribute to a spike in voter turnout and voter registration in East Lansing, local elections officials say. How did they do it?

Michigan recount comes to halt, brings system to light

Michigan’s official recount of the 2016 Presidential election results, which has consumed the nation’s attention — has halted. On Dec. 5 at noon, Ingham County officially opened its state-ordered recount. Two days later, a federal judge had overturned the earlier ruling. But the county’s results had already been submitted at around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum.

Grebner rejoins Ingham County Commission

The Ingham County Commission remains largely Democratic after Tuesday’s election with 11 of 14 districts. Democrat Mark Grebner rejoined the commission in District 8 and Ryan Sebolt joined the commission in District 2.

Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth stands next to Scott Wriggelsworth at a post-election event at the United Association of Union Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler fitters & Service Techs Local 333 in Lansing

Wriggelsworth succeeds father as Ingham County sheriff

East Lansing Police Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth leads Eric Trojanowicz in the race to be Ingham County sheriff. With 96.61 percent of precincts reporting, Wriggelsworth led 57.7 percent to 42.06 percent. Wriggelsworth is the son of Gene Wriggelsworth, who is retiring this year after serving as sheriff for 28 years. The younger Wriggelsworth was promoted to lieutenant in the East Lansing Police Department in 2012 and currently serves in administration. “I’m excited about being an ambassador in our community— trying to rebuild that trust of local law enforcement— and learning, professionally and personally, the men and women that work there, and imploring them that they should think big,” Scott Wriggelsworth said. “In 2016, we have to police our community differently than we did 23 years ago when I started.

Voters renew tax to support Potter Park Zoo

Ingham County voters leaned heavily toward renewing a property tax to support Potter Park Zoo. With 81 percent of precincts reporting, 77 percent of voters elected to renew a 0.41 mill tax to support the Lansing zoo. For the owner of a $200,000 home, this tax costs $41 a year. Because it is a renewal, residents’ taxes did not go up. Potter Park and the Potter Park Zoo have been a staple of the Lansing community for more than 100 years, since 1915. The park and zoo were under control of the city of Lansing until 2006, when the cost of maintaining the zoo became too big a burden for the city.

Cochran challenged by Clark 67th House seat

Democratic incumbent state Rep. Tom Cochran, D-Mason, faces challenger Republican  Leon Clark to represent the 67th District in the state House. With 60 percent of precincts reporting, Cochran leads Clark 56 percent to 44 percent. The 67th District spans much of southern Ingham County. Looking to win his third and final term in office, Cochran previously served on the Lansing Fire Department for over 29 years. Born and raised in Lansing, Cochran has been a mid-Michigan resident his entire life.

Meridian voters visit polls early

The majority of precincts in Meridian saw high voter turnout during the first hour that polls were open. In Precinct 1, there was a 40-45 minute wait during the first hour, and in Precinct 5 nearly 10 percent of registered voters turned out then. “During that period, we had about a minute per voter,” said Precinct 1 chairwoman Beverly Stephens. “Right now, we have 697 ballots.”

“In the first 50 minutes, 160 people came in,” said Precinct 5 chairman Jim Brazier. “We are approaching about 700 votes.”

One challenge during early hours voting was the ballot tabulator jamming and saying the ballot was defective.