An in-depth look at how precincts voted in the Nov. 7 general election
The State News broke down how each of East Lansing's 17 precincts voted in the Nov. 7 election, with an in-depth look at the demographics. You can also click through the interactive Google map below for a detailed look.
Overall, precincts with more students and senior citizens appear to have voted in favor of the income tax proposal, and precincts on-campus tended to choose Aaron Stephens as their first-choice city council candidate.
A little more than 25 percent of registered voters turned out for the election.
Only 3 percent of registered voters on-campus cast ballots, while 31 percent of voters elsewhere showed up.
While on-campus turnout was low, it was almost 2 percentage points higher than the 2015 local election.
“I was surprised actually by how low the turnout was on-campus,” City Clerk Marie Wicks said. “I thought we’d get something, especially with all the information going out and having a student on the ballot.”
Voters denied the City of East Lansing’s request to implement an income tax, meaning the city will have to find around $3 million in revenue to fund pensions and city operations.
This is one of five precincts on MSU’s campus, meaning almost all voters are students. The precinct encompasses all of Brody Neighborhood. Voters said “yes” to the income tax and chose Stephens and Beier. Only 31 people voted, which is significantly more than the total of 12 voters in 2015.
Voters in this precinct live in the triangle between Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue, an area where students and permanent residents live. Stephens and Beier were chosen by voters who said “no” to the income tax. A little more than 33 percent of registered voters cast ballots.
Precinct 3 has a significant amount of students. They tend to live on or near Evergreen Avenue, Wicks said. Voters said “no” to the income tax and chose Beier and Stephens for city council. This precinct had the second highest turnout with 43 percent of voters casting ballots.
Precincts 4 and 6
Both precincts denied the city’s request for an income tax and chose Beier and Stephens to represent them on city council. These precincts consist mainly of subdivisions, where permanent residents live, about 2 miles north of downtown.
“The further out you go, from the center of town, the less student concentration,” Wicks said.
This precinct is north of precincts 4 and 6, and has the same residential make-up. Residents said “no” to the income tax and chose Beier and Woods for city council. No precinct voted for Woods as its first choice, and this is one of five which chose Woods as its second option.
Students do not live in this precinct, Wicks said, which is home to the Whitehills Neighborhood Association, which bills itself as family friendly.
“It is common to see young families out for a stroll or bike ride and retired couples walking hand-in-hand along the peaceful, but busy sidewalks,” the website said.
More than 43 percent of voters cast ballots in this precinct, which is the highest turnout of this election. In the 2015 election, the highest turnout was 36 percent.
Almost two thirds of voters here said “no” to the income tax. They chose Beier and Woods for city council.
This precinct is part of Bailey Neighborhood. Bailey consists of families, retirees, students and faculty according to its website.
However, precinct 8 is not as student heavy as 9 and 10, Wicks said.
Voters said “no” to the income tax and chose Beier and Woods.
Precincts 9 and 10
Around 5,000 students live in precincts 9 and 10, Wicks said.
“That’s a pretty high concentration of students,” Wicks said.
Seven precincts said “yes” to the income tax, and these were two of them. Residents in these precincts also elected Beier and Stephens.
All of East Lansing east of Hagadorn Road is part of this precinct, Wicks said.
“It’s my biggest precinct actually,” Wicks said. “There are some students that live over maybe on Melrose, in that area, but not a high concentration. Relatively speaking, that’s pretty much all non-student residents who live there with a few exceptions.”
Part of this precinct includes Burcham Hills Retirement Community, Wicks said.
Here, 388 residents voted “yes” for the income tax, while 384 said “no.”
Beier and Woods were chosen for city council by voters.
Precinct 12, 13, 14 and 15: MSU’s campus
Precincts on MSU’s campus were split on the income tax proposal. Precincts 12 and 13 voted for the proposal, while 14 and 15 voted against it. It should be noted, however, that turnout was low in all of these precincts, and the ballot question was often decided by fewer than five votes in each precinct.
All four on-campus precincts, in addition to precinct 1 — which encompasses Brody Neighborhood — voted for Stephens as their first choice for city council and Beier as their second.
Overall turnout on campus was estimated at a little more than 3 percent, compared with off-campus turnout of more than 30 percent. The on-campus precinct with the lowest turnout was 14, which saw only ten voters show up — a dismal turnout rate of less than 2 percent.
The highest turnout on campus was at IM-West, which served as the polling station for South Neighborhood in precinct 15. Seventy-three voters turned out, a turnout rate of just more than 4.5 percent.
“The only surprise to me was that there was not a better turnout on campus,” Wicks said. “I was genuinely surprised about that, but as far as the way everything else shook out, I was not super surprised at all.”
Though precinct 16, which encompasses the area west of Harrison Road between Kalamazoo Street and Mt. Hope Avenue, is technically off MSU’s campus, a significant number of students live there in apartment complexes such as 1855 Place and Spartan Village.
This precinct voted in favor of the income tax proposal by a much larger margin than the campus precincts that did so. Despite its concentration of students, it did not vote for Stephens as its first choice for city council, instead preferring Beier and choosing Stephens as second choice.
This precinct is made up of students and permanent residents, Wicks said. However, students here don’t usually vote.
“The folks who come out to vote are not the students, I’ll just put it that way,” Wicks said. “It’s the residential people for an election like this. For our presidential and gubernatorial the students all come out to vote.”
It’s mainly residents of the relatively new Hawk Nest neighborhood who vote in local elections, Wicks said.
Some students who live in Chandler Crossings can vote in East Lansing, while others vote in Bath Township. The boundary lines are confusing, Wicks said. Either way, she said she did not think many students voted there.
Voters said “no” to the income tax and chose Beier and Woods for city council.