Michigan had a record-breaking turnout for the midterm election, with 4.45 million voters who cast a ballot on Tuesday, according to election data from the office of Secretary of State. The former record, set in 2018, saw a turnout of 4.34 million voters. In Washtenaw County, 182,037 voters submitted ballots.
In a historic race for the governorship, incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defeated Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, winning 54.5% of the vote.
Wednesday morning, Whitmer took to Twitter to thank Michiganders for their support and reaffirm her commitment to bipartisanship
In a Wednesday morning press release, Dixon said she had called Whitmer to concede the race.
“I called Governor Whitmer this morning to concede and wish her well,” Dixon said. “Michigan’s future success rests not in elected officials or government, but all of us.”
Dana Nessel has won a second term as attorney general, defeating Republican challenger Matthew DePerno. Nessel won 53% of the vote to DePerno’s 45% and took to Twitter shortly after the AP called the race to express her gratitude and excitement for the next four years.
DePerno took to Twitter Wednesday morning to announce his concession in the race.
“Although I may be conceding to Dana Nessel today, I refuse to concede that Michigan is a blue state,” DePerno wrote. “I will continue to fight like hell to restore Michigan to all it can be. Thank you to each and every one of you!”
Secretary of State
Jocelyn Benson will serve another four years as Michigan’s Secretary of State after receiving . 56% of the vote. She declared her victory in a speech at a Michigan Democrats election night watch party in Detroit before any major news outlet called the race, according to the AP.
Kristina Karamo, who received 42% of the vote, tweeted last night about the long line at the University of Michigan Museum of Art polling station. She claimed Ann Arbor residents were illegally registering to vote after the polls had closed. However, Michigan is one of 20 states that allow for same-day voter registration. Citizens also have the right to vote as long as are in line before polls have closed for the day.
Karamo has yet to concede the race as of Wednesday evening.
Proposals 1, 2 and 3
With the passage of Proposal 3, Michigan became the first state in the country to pass an affirmative citizen-led constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to abortion. About 57% of voters voted in favor of Proposal 3, with 43% voting against it. Proposal 1 — which set term limits and required financial disclosure by elected officials — and Proposal 2 — which legalized early voting and expanded the use of ballot drop boxes — also passed with 66% and 60% of the vote, respectively.
Proposals 2 and 3 will take effect in 45 days, on Dec. 23. Proposal 1 will take effect immediately, with an exception for people elected to the state Senate in 2022. Those individuals would be allowed to serve the 12 years regardless of prior legislative office.
Engineering junior Libby Wright said she was excited to cast her vote for Proposal 3, and was able to do so quickly when she arrived at the Palmer Commons polling station around 3 p.m. to cast her ballot.
“I wanted to vote to protect everyone’s rights, and I think it’s important for everyone to do their part in evaluating the state of everything and protect people right now,” Wright said. “I’m excited to vote yes on Prop 3 because it adds an extra layer of protection in Michigan that is needed right now.”
State Supreme Court
Incumbents Richard Bernstein and Brian Zahra will maintain their seats on the Michigan Supreme Court for another eight years, despite efforts from both Republicans and Democrats to flip one of the seats. While Supreme Court positions are non-partisan, Democrats have supported four of the current members of the court, holding a one-person majority over the three Republican-endorsed justices. Bernstein and Zahra received 34% and 24% of the votes, respectively. Democrats were interested in unseating Zahra and replacing him with Kyra Harris Bolden, who would have been the first Black woman on Michigan’s highest court. Republicans endorsed Paul Hudson, who stressed bipartisanship throughout his campaign. The Libertarian party endorsed attorney Kerry Lee Morgan for a seat.
Michigan Democrats won control of the state House of Representatives and state Senate, securing a statewide trifecta for the first time since 1984. Though votes are still being tallied for some races, Democrats are projected to win 20 out of 38 seats in the state Senate, according to unofficial results. The party is also set to reclaim a majority in the House for the first time since 2010 with a projected 56 out of 110 seats.
- 14th Senate District: Washtenaw County Commissioner Sue Shink defeated Republican Tim Golding for Michigan’s 14th District Senate seat, winning 56% of the vote.
- 15th Senate District: Incumbent state Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, defeated Republican challenger Scott Price. Irwin won 76% of the vote for what will be his second term in the state Senate.
- 23rd House District: Washtenaw County Commissioner Jason Morgan defeated Republican Richard Sharland for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives, winning 65% of the vote.
- 33rd House District: Incumbent state Rep. Felicia Brabec, D-Pittsfield, defeated Republican Robert Borer III for Michigan’s 33rd District House seat, winning 75% of the vote.
- 47th House District: Democrat Carrie Rheingans, a social work lecturer at the University of Michigan, won the race against Republican opponent Tina Bednarski-Lynch, taking 63% of the vote.
- 48th House District: Democrat Jennifer Conlin earned 53% of the vote against her Republican opponent Jason Woolford’s 46%.
- 6th Congressional District: Debbie Dingell, D-Mich, earned 65.9% of the vote against Republican opponent Whittney Williams.
At an election results watch party in Detroit on Nov. 8, House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski took to the stage to thank supporters at around 11 p.m. Though most races had yet to be called at that point, Lasinski successfully predicted a good night for Michigan Democrats.
“We have every indication that tonight’s going to be a good night for the Democratic state House,” Lasinski said. “To all of you who knocked doors and helped us, thank you. To all of you who opened up your pocketbook one more time when we called again, thank you … We know that the state is better with a Democratic governor, Democratic secretary of state, Democratic AG, Democratic House and a Democratic Senate.”
Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich shared similar sentiments, acknowledging the significance of the redrawn congressional maps created by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to the Democratic wins.
“Tonight is four decades in the making,” Ananich said. “We have our first real shot at the majority since 1984. Because of you, and all of you here, we have fair maps. Because of you, we were able to out-work, out-knock on doors, out-phone call and most importantly, for the first time ever, out-raise Republican candidates.”
Daily News Editor Anna Fifelski can be reached at email@example.com. Daily Staff Reporters Samantha Rich and Irena Li can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Daily Staff Reporter Sneha Dhandapani contributed to the reporting of this article.