On March 8, Meridian Township voters hit the polling booths and cast their votes in the 2016 presidential primary election, along with the rest of Michigan. Those booths were a bit busier than usual. According to the township clerk’s office, of the 29,554 registered voters in Meridian, 13,115 submitted either a ballot or an absentee ballot for the primary. It was also reported that at least 3,500 absentee ballots were submitted for this election, compared to only about 1,200 absentee ballots submitted in 2012’s primary. This year’s voter turnout for the primary toppled 2012’s statistic in general, when only 5,917 Meridian voters of 27,377 registered voters submitted a ballot.
By Andrew Merkle
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter
In the first installment of the Ingham County Chronicle’s series on election coverage, we examined Ingham County’s voting history and learned through POLITICO that the county has historically voted for the candidate representing the Democratic Party. Dating back to the 2004 presidential election, the county has voted for the candidate from the Democratic Party in each and every biannual election (six times). After an unscientific polling of 50 Ingham County residents, a majority of them said they are affiliated with the Democratic Party. Thirty-one of the 50 residents surveyed consider themselves to be Democrats compared to just 11 Republicans. Eight residents claim to be independents. The survey consisted of 32 women and 18 men spread across all ages, educational backgrounds and employment statuses.
Millennial students are creating clubs to show their dedication to Bernie Sanders, such as the #FeelTheBern MSU group at Michigan State University. While older Democrats may favor Hillary Clinton as their prospective presidential candidate, a poll by NBC News in October 2015 shows that millennials are instead “feeling the Bern” with Bernie Sanders. The poll shows that 54 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 30 would choose to elect Sanders, outweighing Clinton’s 26 percent. “I think that millennials, because they’re young, are idealistic,” said Republican Merri Cullen, 60. “It’s probably one of the coolest ages to be, because you’ve got your whole life ahead of you and you haven’t been jaded yet.