GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The primary election is Tuesday, with voters choosing party nominees in state Legislature races and the Republican race for governor and winners advancing to the general election in November.

You will see both Democrat and Republican races on your ballot, but you can only vote in one party’s primary. If you mark choices in both the Democrat and Republican columns, your ballot will be spoiled.

Other parts of the ballot, like bonds and millages, are nonpartisan. Regardless of which party’s primary you choose to participate in, you can vote in the proposal section. Your ballot should clearly label what each column is for. Make sure you check your ballot front and back so you don’t miss any races you care about.


The big-ticket race for Republicans is the gubernatorial primary. It has been a chaotic campaign, with five of the 10 candidates disqualified over invalid petition signatures.

The remaining five are former business owner and broadcaster Tudor Dixon, real estate broker Ryan Kelley, pastor Ralph Rebandt, businessman Kevin Rinke and chiropractor Garrett Soldano.

The winner will face incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, in the Nov. 8 general election.


Michigan’s legislative lines — those defining its U.S. House of Representative districts and Michigan House and Senate districts — were redrawn this year. That means you may find yourself voting in a different district with candidates you’re unfamiliar with. County clerks say you should go to the Michigan Secretary of State’s website to check your district so you can educate yourself about the candidates.

In the 3rd Congressional District, which covers much of metro Grand Rapids and Ottawa and Muskegon counties, Republican incumbent Rep. Peter Meijer faces a challenger in John Gibbs. The winner will face Democrat Hillary Scholten in November.

Every Michigan House seat in the state is also up for election, and a number are open, without any incumbent on the ballot. News 8 previewed several of those races:

In the 80th House District, Democrats will choose between Lily Cheng-Schulting and Phil Skaggs. One of them will face Republican Jeffrey Johnson in the Nov. 8 general election.

In the 82nd House District, the Democratic candidates are Salim Al-Shatel, Kristian Grant and Robert Womack. The Republican candidates are William Alexander and Ryan Malinoski.

In the 86th House District, Republicans Nancy DeBoer and Seth Getz are vying to see who will face Democrat Larry Jackson in November.

In the 87th House District, the Democratic candidates are Brennan Gorman, Eddie Jenkins, Will Snyder and Debra Warren. One of them will face Republican Michael Haueisen in November.

There are also a number of primaries in the the race for the Kent County Board of Commissioners: 11 Republican races and three Democratic.


There are a number or ballot proposals around West Michigan, including a millage in Calhoun County to approve a millage to update first responders’ communication technology, with the county 911 authority saying radios are currently unreliable in some parts of the county.

In Holland, there is a proposal to expand broadband internet by funding the building of a fiber network by the Holland Board of Public Works.

Kent County has two millage renewals on the ballot: one to fund services for veterans and the other for seniors. Muskegon County is seeking a renewal of its 911 operating millage.

Oceana County is asking for a millage to build a new jail, saying its current facility is too small to provide adequate services and has some structural problems.

A number of schools are seeking bonds or millages:

Montague Area Public Schools is seeking a new tax bond for a new gym and agricultural barn.

Wayland Union Schools is seeking a new tax bond to improve classrooms and technology, add a new mat room, expand Fine Arts space and build a new pool.

Coopersville Area Public Schools and Mattawan Consolidated School are asking for operating millage renewals. Grant Public Schools and Tri County Area Schools are seeking non-homestead millage renewals. Mar Lee School District is seeking a sinking fund renewal.

The above list isn’t exhaustive — you should check your sample ballot before you go to vote so you can research any candidates or ballot proposals and make up your mind.


If you’re voting absentee, clerks it’s too late to mail your ballot back. It has to be back to your clerk’s office by the end of the day Tuesday — an Aug. 2 postmark is not good enough to get it counted. To make sure your vote is cast, take your absentee ballot straight to your clerk’s office or leave it an official drop box set up by your city or township.

Because absentee voting is becoming more popular, it may take a bit longer for election results to be announced than you’re used to. Even though absentee votes are cast early, they can’t be counted before election day and the process of tallying them can be laborious.

“Bad actors could wrongly claim that the time it takes to finish counting absentee ballots is evidence of malfeasance rather than simply acknowledging the truth: that counting often continues long after polls close because the Michigan State Legislature has not provided Michigan election clerks time before election day to preprocess absentee ballots,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said at a news conference Monday morning.

She said other states do allow that preprocessing and she said she has pushed for it here.

Benson added that because the absentee ballots can take a while to be counted, they may be added to unofficial results late and that could make it look like vote totals have changed when, in fact, the numbers were previously incomplete.

Stay with News 8 on air and online for election coverage while votes are being cast Tuesday and while they’re being counted.