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Special Election Wednesday to Pick McCotter's Successor

Residents in the current 11th Congressional District will be asked to vote Wednesday, Sept. 5, to pick someone to fill the remainder of Thaddeus McCotter's term. McCotter resigned from the seat earlier this year.

The much-anticipated special primary election to fill Thaddeus McCotter's (R-Livonia) remaining term will take place next week. The Sept. 5 election is happening 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 scheduled for Sept. 5. 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 Bentivolio, Nancy Cassis, Steve 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. 
  • 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!

Be sure to check back with Patch for profiles of the candidates and the latest election information.

James Craig August 31, 2012 at 07:21 PM
So, for what amounts to 10 or more years pay for most people we get 2 months representation?
Paul Armstrong August 31, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Read News Paper Report - How Bentivolio's classroom behavior was reprimanded and how he had to leave his last teaching job- http://www.freep.com/article/20120822/NEWS15/120822001/Graphic-How-Bentivolio-s-classroom-behavior-reprimanded
frank September 04, 2012 at 04:33 PM
And what happens at the end of December?
Brooke Tajer September 04, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Whoever wins in the general election for the new term will take over, if I recall correctly.

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