Michigan Presidential Electors Vote Today, High Voter Turnout, and Ideas to Fix America, Michigan, and the U.P.


Michigan Presidential Electors Vote Today in Lansing

Monday, December 14th is the big day.

Electors from the state congressional districts will cast their votes today. There will not be an elector from the Upper Peninsula.

The UP is part of the 1st Congressional District and its elector for this election is from downstate. The historic voting ceremony takes place in the State Senate Chambers. You can watch online.

This only happens once every four years and is a very important part of our democracy, so tune in.

High Voter Turnout in November Election Statewide and in Upper Peninsula

Lansing-based news service MIRS is reporting that overall Michigan had 38 of its 83 counties with over 70% voter turnout. That is big, they report. 

Three counties had turnouts in the 50% range. Of the counties in this range, the lowest turnout according to MIRS was the UP’s Dickinson County, with a voter turnout of 56.85%, and in the last presidential election in 2016 it was approximately 60%.

Why so low in Dickinson County? No data yet that answers this, but this county has very low unemployment, a very strong manufacturing base and apparently a very happy population.

Were these reasons to blame for the lower turnout, or was there another reason? Stay tuned. 

Ideas To Fix America and Michigan/Upper Peninsula

The New York Times recently asked readers and experts what they thought the US ought to prioritize in the next year or so.

Below are a few of the responses. That made us at Whispers think about what would we prioritize in Michigan that would help the UP and the people in the state of Michigan. What do you think? What would you add to our UP/Michigan list? Below are some of the issues we heard from our readers.

First, here are some of the NYT responses received:

  • Put an internet-enabled device in the hands of every child.
  • Let mental health experts assist in answering 911 calls. Appropriately Triage calls involving mental health crises coming into emergency dispatch centers so we can assure the right work is in the right hands and help 911 call center call takers, police officers and mental health personnel to get to work together to provide persons in crisis with the best possible care.
  • Listen to people who you disagree with the most.
  • Slash regulations to prioritize growth.

Here are a few UP/Michigan issues we got when we asked a few of our readers:

  • Expand child care options and increase childcare funding.
  • Prioritize income disparity issue resolution. 
  • Tax reform for middle class families and small businesses.
  • Increase state minimum wage.
  • Every child in Michigan has access to an internet enable device and connection to the internet no matter where they live in rural areas.
  • Find shared grounds on policy that could push the state forward even as it works to address the inequity to various parts of the state. Infrastructure? All the above issues?

What would you add to this list? State or federal issues. Please send them to us.

Quotes (that make you go hmmmm)

“Has the charisma of an overcooked noodle.” Original source unknown. Many repeats.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others.” Martin Luther King.

Book Suggestions

Do you have one to suggest to us and our readers? Please send us the title, author name and publication date. Send them to david@ruralinsights.org.

None of the book suggestions we will publish are endorsements of the book or the author, just suggestions for you to consider.

Recent suggested reads from readers:

Ice Hunter. Joseph Haywood. (The setting for this book is the UP and features a Conservation Officer, Grady Service. It is part of a series by this author.)

War. Margaret Mc Millian. 2020.

What’s on Your Mind?

Tell us what you would like to see us research and write about in Rural Insights. Are there issues or ideas that you think are important to the Upper Peninsula that we should explore?

We can’t guarantee that we will research every issue or idea that you send us, but we will take a look and see what we can find out.

Is there enough data and facts for us to publish, etc. Let us know what you are thinking about.

Send your ideas, issues and thoughts to david@ruralinsights.org.

bold fix

David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Don Hartman on December 14, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Hi Davis:


    I have often wondered why the Congressional district for the U.P. is partially in Lower Michigan. Has this District size and boundary lines ever been a concern for the people of Upper Michigan?


    Our grandsons, ages 9 and 11, live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area (Forest Lake) and have constant access to the internet and their schools are high tech. They both go to an I-B School (International Baccalaureate), Lake International Language Academy. But, when we go to the U.P. cottage in the summer and we limit their access to the internet they really appreciate the change, chores, nature, etc. So, while internet access is a key for every child’s education it should not be a distraction from other elements in life.

  2. Mike aradke on December 14, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Excellent articles today. It’s great to hear what UP’ers see are their real needs. Based on these needs there are plenty of areas of policy and budget that are fertile grounds for bipartisan and bi-peninsula support to address these needs.

  3. Karen Pauls on December 15, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Hey David,
    One of the many places I’ve vacationed in Michigan is the Houghton, Chassell area. Good kayaking and not too many people. A fair amount of places to rent. Good local beer. Nice people.
    When I happened across this website, I wanted to keep in touch with what’s going on in Michigan and this helps.
    I consider myself a Democrat but am open to anyone who has the best interests of the common person at heart. What I see in many Republican politicians does not meet that criteria, esp the ones that sided with vote overturn hijinks.
    One comment about Dickinson county, while driving through there late July was the absence of face mask wearers, lots of people gathering together at river sites. I got the impression they didn’t think Covid-19 was something to be concerned about.

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