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Special Primary Election Under Way to Pick McCotter's Replacement

Today is the special election to select a primary candidate to fill out the rest of former Congressman's term.

The much-anticipated special primary election to fill Thaddeus McCotter's (R-Livonia) remaining term is under way today.

Today's election is unique, occurring on a Wednesday, not the usual Tuesday, after the state set the date in July.

In Novi, Clerk Maryanne Cornelius said many people don't understand the difference between the August Primary and this special primary, "Turnout for Sept. 5 is likely to be low. I will be surprised if it's as high as 12 percent," she said in an interview with Novi Patch.

In White Lake, Deputy Clerk Cathy Derocher said many people have come in seeking absentee ballots not realizing the notices they were getting were for the Sept. 5 election, not the upcoming November election. Derocher said the clerk's office has had to explain the special election several times.

That might not be the only thing confusing voters. Here is a primer:

The Special Election

Since McCotter did not announce his resignation in time to add the vote to fill the rest of his term to the August primary ballot, a special primary is taking place today. The primary will narrow down the field of candidates to one Republican and one Democrat. Voters will then pick the final winner in the Nov. 6 election.

The special primary is  $650,000. Here are the basic facts about it:

  • Primary date: Sept. 5
  • Election date: Nov. 6
  • Voting District: Former 11th
  • Cities voting: Novi, Northville, Plymouth, Canton, White Lake, Livonia, Garden City, Westland, Wayne, Belleville, Milford, Highland, Commerce and more.
  • Patch has interviewed the following Republican candidates, you can find their profiles here:Kerry BentivolioNancy CassisSteve King, . Patch has yet to reach Carolyn Kavanagh.
  • Democratic candidate: 
  • Winner will take office: In early November as soon as the Michigan Secretary of State certifies the results, which should take just a few days.
  • Length of term to be served: Two months until the end of December.

The Backstory

What caused Michigan to have a special primary and a regular primary? Here are some of the basic facts:

  • At the end of May, Thaddeus McCotter announced that he mistakenly  to run for re-election this November. As it turns out, he might not have had enough valid signatures , either. 
  • McCotter then attempted to run a write-in campaign, but  just a few days later.
  • On July 6, McCotter announced that he would , citing a "nightmarish month and a half."
  • Michigan is then required to call on voters to pick a new representative in a special election in addition to the regular election.
  • McCotter's seat will be left vacant until the election in November.

What questions do you still have? Tell us in the comments, and we'll get the answers for you!

Mike September 05, 2012 at 07:15 PM
This one was easy, Only 1 circle to fill in.
Bryan Bentley (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 10:41 PM
At 5:30 I was voter #23 I wonder how much this election will cost per vote...
Patrick September 06, 2012 at 12:51 AM
At about 9AM I was #2. Number 1 was in front of me. The volunteers looked very bored today.

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