LIVE BLOG: Whitmer elected to second term, all proposals pass

Posted at 7:13 AM, Nov 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-09 15:44:50-05

(WXYZ) — On Tuesday, voters across Michigan headed to the polls to cast their ballots in the midterm election.

There were major races and proposals at stake including the governor’s race and Proposal 1, Proposal 2 and Proposal 3.


We're bringing you the latest on Election Day from around the state.

Check out our live blog below:

3:40 PM (Wednesday):

The Associated Press is now projecting John James as the winner in the 10th Congressional District race.

James defeated Democrat Carl Marlinga.

Marlinga told 7 Action News he conceded earlier in the day. He said he offered his congratulations and had a private conversation with him. He tells 7 Action News he does not intend to pursue a recount.

1:40 p.m. (Wednesday):

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson spoke on Wednesday afternoon, calling the 2022 Midterm Election a success and saying the state will likely have record turnout for a Midterm election.

In 2018, 2,206,977 people voted in the election, which was a record previously held by the 2002 Midterm Election. Numbers have not yet been finalized for the 2022 election.

“I’m confident that as we go through the process when the unofficial results are finalized, they will reflect that this election was the highest turnout midterm election in Michigan’s history," Benson said.

Jocelyn Benson speaks following successful 2022 Michigan Midterm Election

1:25 p.m. (Wednesday):

Oakland Counter voters approved a transportation millage that would expand and maintain transportation services throughout the county.

The millage, which will be .95 mills per $1,000, expands services from the SMART Bus system, Western Oakland Transportation Authority, North Oakland Transportation Authority and Older Persons Commission in the Rochester area.

It passed with 57.11% of people supporting it compared to 42.89% against it.

1:15 PM (Wednesday):

Democrat Carl Marlinga confirms to 7 Action News that he has conceded to Republican John James in the race for Michigan's 10th Congressional District.

He said he offered his congratulations and had a private conversation with him. He tells 7 Action News he does not intend to pursue a recount.

The race has not yet officially been called. As of 1 p.m. Wednesday with 99% of the vote counted, James has a lead of just 1,601 votes.

12:30 PM (Wednesday):

After giving her victory speech at MotorCity Casino Wednesday following her reelection win against Republican challenge Tudor Dixon, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sat down with WXYZ reporter Jenn Schanz to reflect on what her win means for herself and the state of Michigan.

“Well I think yesterday’s result tells you that when we stay focused on the fundamentals that’s what people really want to see," Whitmer said.

Governor Whitmer reacts to her reelection victory


11:00 AM (Wednesday):

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan has won a sixth term in office, fending off a challenge from Republican Paul Junge.

Kildee, the House Democrats’ chief deputy whip, was first elected in 2012 to a House seat occupied for 36 years by his uncle, former Rep. Dale Kildee. An independent commission redrew his 8th District after the 2020 census, adding GOP-leaning territory including the city of Midland to reliably Democratic Flint and Saginaw.

10:15 AM (Wednesday):

The Associated Press is now projecting that Dana Nessel will win the Michigan attorney general race, defeating Matt DePerno.

DePerno issued a statement conceding the race earlier this morning.

9:42 AM (Wednesday):

Candidate Matt DePerno has conceded in the race for Michigan attorney general.

He was running against incumbent Dana Nessel. However, the race has not officially been called yet.

DePerno released the following statement Wednesday morning:

“Thank you to all the Michiganders who showed up to voice their frustrations with our current government. Although we didn’t emerge victorious tonight, I believe we sent a strong message to Lansing. The people of Michigan are tired of the rising crime, threats to parental rights and an ongoing lack of trust in government.

"Although I may be conceding to Dana Nessel today, I refuse to concede that Michigan is a blue state. I will continue to fight like hell to restore Michigan to all it can be and I look forward to continuing this journey with you all.

"To everybody who joined this incredible movement, I thank you for the unwavering support over the last year and a half and I assure you this is not the end, it's only the beginning. Never stop fighting!”

8:43 AM (Wednesday):

Tudor Dixon has conceded.

In a statement, she says: "I called Governor Whitmer this morning to concede and wish her well. Michigan’s future success rests not in elected officials or government, but all of us. It is incumbent upon all of us to help our children read, support law enforcement, and grow our economy. 

Thank you to our volunteers and supporters for working so hard to forge a better Michigan. We came up short, but we will never stop fighting for our families."

7:54 AM (Wednesday):

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is live from MotorCity Casino giving remarks following her reelection win against Tudor Dixon. 

Watch along:

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses supporters after projected gubernatorial win

RELATED: Governor Gretchen Whitmer to gives remarks Wednesday following her reelection victory

6:55 AM (Wednesday):

Political analysts Dave Dulio and Mario Morrow joined 7 Action News morning anchor Keenan Smith for a sit down interview Wednesday morning to recap last night's elections.

They talked about what they think helped Gretchen Whitmer secure her spot as governor as well as the historic changes the state may see.

Dave Dulio and Mario Morrow analyze the governors race:

Dave Dulio and Mario Morrow analyze the Nov. 8 elections

Analyst Dave Dulio and Mario Morrow explain what a Democratic flip in the Michigan State Senate would mean for residents:

Dave Dulio and Mario Morrow: What does a Democratic flip for the Michigan State Senate mean?

5:25 AM (Wednesday)

Many races in Michigan are still too close to call as of Wednesday morning, and results are still coming in for some areas, including the City of Detroit.

Counting is continuing at Huntington Place, but it has been a smooth and uneventful night, as a truck pulled in carrying the last batch of ballots around 1 a.m.

Earlier in the day, a Detroit election official estimated the count would end around 4 a.m., so they are a little behind schedule, but it's nothing compared to what the city experienced in 2020.

Ballot counting continues in Detroit with higher than expected turnout

4:30 AM (Wednesday):

We're still awaiting final calls and projections from several races in Michigan, including for the attorney general race between Dana Nessel and Matthew DePerno, and the congressional race in the 10th district between John James and Carl Marlinga.

As of 4:30 a.m., Democratic AG Nessel has 51.8% of the vote (2,007,510 votes) compared to DePerno's 45.9% (1,779,052 votes).

The Republican James also has a lead over Marlinga – 52.6% to 44.6%, and Dan Kildee, the Democratic incumbent in the 8th district, has a 51.3% to 44.5% lead over Republican candidate Paul Junge.

3:50 AM (Wednesday):

Michigan voters will soon have more rights in the state after they passed Proposal 2 during the 2022 Midterm Elections on Tuesday, the Associated Press projects.

The proposal from Promote the Vote 2022 would make several changes to the Michigan Constitution to expand voter rights.

In all, it listed nine changes that would happen.

One would require nine days of early, in-person voting. That means that Michiganders would get two weeks and the week before Election Day to vote at designated sites, which would be open eight hours per day. Several states already offer early in-person voting, so it would add Michigan to the list.

3:32 AM (Wednesday):

Michigan Supreme Court Justices Richard Bernstein and Brian Zahra were both re-elected to the State Supreme Court on Tuesday night.

With 99% of the vote in, Bernstein received 33.2% of the vote (1,642,837 votes) and Zahra received 24.7% of the vote (1,223,179 votes).

This means the court will keep a 4-3 Democratic majority, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will nominate a replacement for Chief Justice Bridge McCormack, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

3:25 AM (Wednesday):

Michigan’s legislators will now have new term limits and financial disclosure reports after voters passed Proposal 1 during the 2022 Midterm Elections, according to an Associated Press projection.

The proposal amends Michigan's Constitution and changes how long legislators can serve in the State House or Senate.

The AP also projected that Proposal 3 legalizing abortion would pass, following the ABC News projection earlier Tuesday night.

3:15 AM (Wednesday)

Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin will stay in Congress, defeating Republican State Sen. Tom Barrett is a close race for Michigan's new 7th Congressional District, the Associated Press projects.

The newly-drawn 7th District includes cities like Lansing in Ingham County, along with Eaton, Shiawassee and Livingston counties, as well as small parts of Oakland and Genesee counties.

Slotkin is a Democrat from Holly and has been in Washington since 2018 after flipping her original district from red to blue. She's looking for another two years.

2:27 AM (Wednesday):

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to give a speech at 8 a.m. Wednesday after the Associated Press projects she will win re-election over Republican Tudor Dixon.

We will live stream the speech and it will air on 7 Action News

1:57 AM (Wednesday):

The Associated Press projects Democrat Hillary Scholten will win the race for Michigan's 3rd Congressional District in West Michigan, beating out Trump-backed Republican candidate John Gibbs.

That flips the seat from red to blue after Gibbs beat out incumbent Peter Meijer in a primary.

1:26 AM (Wednesday):

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been elected to a second term, beating out Republican nominee Tudor Dixon, according to an AP projection.

Just before 1:30 a.m., the AP made the projection with Whitmer having 51.9% of the vote compared to Dixon's 46.5% with 65.3% of the vote counted.

The race between Whitmer and Dixon had been tightening over the past few weeks, with both candidates spending the final days of the campaign on the road pushing for votes.

1:15 AM (Wednesday):

Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib has won her election to Michigan's 12th Congressional district, while Democrat Shri Thanedar also won his election in the 13th district.

The 13th District includes parts of Detroit, Romulus, Downriver, Highland Park, Hamtramck and the Grosse Pointes.

Thanedar, a state representative, defeated eight other candidates in the primary winning 28.3% of the vote to get the nomination. He finished third in the 2020 Democratic primary for governor.

Tlaib was her third term in office and is one of the more progressive Democratic members in Congress, and is part of what's known as The Squad with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley. She is a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump.

1:02 AM (Wednesday):

Around 12:55 a.m., Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed a watch party crowd shortly after Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Whitmer thanked her supporters as ballots continue to be counted.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks as election results come in

12:10 AM (Wednesday):

Around midnight, ABC News projected that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will have a second term leading the state department. They project she will beat Republican nominee Kristina Karamo in the 2022 midterm election.

Shortly after, ABC News projected Proposal 3 passing, which will legalize abortion and reproductive rights in the state after the fall of Roe v. Wade earlier this year. The proposal was one of the most-watched races across the country in a swing state like Michigan, and had money coming in from around the country for and against it.

11:47 PM:

Tudor Dixon addressed supporters on Tuesday night, saying the race is going to be too close to call.

"We look forward to the full results tomorrow," said Dixon.

She said her team is going to stay up all night to watch the votes come in.

Tudor Dixon speaks on Election Night

11:30 PM:

The Associated Press is projecting that US Representative Lisa McClain has won reelection in the 9th Congressional District.

11:12 PM:

Rep. Debbie Dingell has won re-election in Michigan's new 6th Congressional District, according to an Associated Press projection.

Dingell, a Democrat, beat out her Republican opponent, Whittney Williams, who is a first-generation immigrant from Taiwan who moved to the U.S. at the age of 10.

The new 6th District includes Washtenaw County, western and southern Wayne County and a small portion of Oakland County.

Dingell has served in Congress since 2015, taking over for her husband, the late Rep. John Dingell who is the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history. She has focused often on the environment and Michigan's Great Lakes.

10:40 PM:

7's Ross Jones is hearing in-person voting in Detroit is expected to eclipse absentee voting — a surprise to election officials.

More than 87,000 are projected to have voted in-person, bringing total turnout to about 36%. Earlier in the week, officials projected no higher than 33%.

9:20 PM:

Rep. Haley Stevens has been re-elected in the new 11th Congressional District, according to an Associated Press projection. Stevens, a Democrat, was facing off against Republican Mark Ambrose, and had to win a tough primary after she was drawn into a district that included Rep. Andy Levin. She defeated Levin in the primary.

9:10 PM:

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson provided an update on Election Night.

“All across the state, the process went smoothly,” Benson said.

She said there were no widespread or major disruptions, and minor issues were addressed quickly.

They plan to continue to provide updates as the tabulation process continues. 

So far, more than 14,000 Michiganders did same-day registration on Tuesday. 

Benson reported hundreds of people in voting lines in Ann Arbor and East Lansing this evening.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson provides election night update

8:30 PM:

The City of Flint Police Chief Terence Green released a statement regarding an issue at a polling site this evening:

"At approximately 7:30 p.m. the Flint Police Department was called by election officials working at Haskell Community Center, located at 2201 Forest Hill Ave. regarding a poll worker who appeared to be intoxicated while working the poll site. Police responded and upon arrival were notified by the captain of the precinct that the poll worker had departed on foot from the polling place, leaving their bicycle at the location. After police left, the poll worker returned and made threats to do violence at the polling site. Police responded again and arrested the poll worker for public intoxication and for making threats. The poll worker was transported to the Flint Police Department to be processed and lodged.

Misinformation circulating on the internet that Mayor Neeley was somehow involved in this incident is false."

8:00 PM:

Polls have closed throughout most of Michigan. You can watch our Election Day Special below:

7:50 PM:

The Michigan Department of State issued the following statement on election night ahead of the polls closing:

7:05 PM:

The Michigan Department of State held another update at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

According to the state, there have been 2,025,581 absentee ballots requested, 1,832,921 absentee ballots returned and 12,537 same-day voter registrations.

The state said they are seeing long lines for same-day voter registrations, especially in college towns like East Lansing and Ann Arbor.

They are also reminding people that anyone who is in line either at a polling place, a clerk's office or even a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

5:55 PM:

The city of Detroit said confusion Tuesday morning regarding in-person voters getting a message saying they voted absentee was a "harmless data error."

According to the city's elections department and the Michigan Secretary of State's office, election inspectors at some Detroit voting precincts Tuesday morning got a message on the e-pollbook screen that said "ballot # has already been issued as Absentee Voter Ballot."

That message did not indicate that the voter who was trying to vote in person voted absentee. Instead, it meant that an absentee ballot number that was issued to a different voter was the same ballot number being issued to the in-person voter, according to officials.

The city said that the e-pollbook system recognized the duplicate ballot numbers and issued the error message, so no two ballots would have the same ballot number.

"All safeguards preventing a voter from voting more than one ballot are in place since polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and those safeguards remain in place," the city said in a statement.

Read more here

5:30 PM:

Editorial Director Chuck Stokes joined WXYZ-TV at 5 p.m. to talk about how the midterm elections will impact what happens in Lansing.

Check out the Q&A session here:

Breakdown of the midterm election races, proposals

5:07 PM:

WXYZ-TV's Glenda Lewis and Ross Jones are out at Huntington Place in Detroit as more than 60,000 votes have already reportedly been tabulated.

There have been changes since 2020 — starting with the location of the counting, which is now happening on the second floor.

About 1,200 election workers are there working very hard, hoping to have all the ballots counted by 4 a.m.

Glenda reported there have been some challenges, but nothing out of the ordinary and that things have remained relatively calm.

Election Day in Detroit

5:00 PM:

As of 4:30 p.m., the Michigan Secretary of State Office reports that 2,022,885 absentee ballots have been requested with 1,807,127 ballots submitted.

There have been 8,828 same-day voter registrations.

The city of Detroit Department of Elections also released the following statement regarding a polling issue this morning:

"When the polls opened today, election inspectors in some precincts received a message on the e-pollbook screen indicating the “Ballot # has already been issued as Absentee Voter Ballot.” This message does not mean that the voter who was issued an absent voter ballot was attempting to vote.

This turned out to be a harmless data error. Ballot numbers for precinct voters were being generated which were identical to ballot numbers being used for absent voter ballots. The e-pollbook system recognized the duplicate ballot numbers and issued the error message so that no two ballots would have the same ballot number.

This situation was resolved by simply distinguishing the ballot numbers for in-person precinct voting from absent voter ballot numbers by adding an additional letter to the precinct ballot numbers.

All safeguards preventing a voter from voting more than one ballot are in place since polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and those safeguards remain in place."

4:55 PM:

Chopper video from over Ann Arbor is showing long lines to vote.

The Michigan Secretary of State Office reported earlier that lines were forming in Ann Arbor and at college campuses as people were trying to register the same day.

Check it out:

Long lines to vote in Ann Arbor

3:13 PM:

The Michigan Secretary of State Office is reporting that more than 2 million absentee ballots have been requested in the state — with about 1.8 million submitted. (editor's note: an earlier version of this update reported that more than 2 million had been submitted)

A strong turnout of voters is being reported with no major issues thus far.

There were reported lines in Ann Arbor and at college campuses where people are trying to register the same day.

Jocelyn Benson is also expected to hold an in-person press conference at 9 p.m. Tuesday to provide an update on the election.

1:30 PM:

7 Action News' Glenda Lewis and Ross Jones at Huntington Place in Detroit watching votes being counted.

12:20 PM:

As voters continue to cast their ballots, our crews are in the field chatting with them in Tuesday’s high stakes midterm elections.

Reporter Whitney Burney is at a polling location in Warren, where she says she’s seen a pretty steady stream of voters, poll watchers and local candidates.

Metro Detroit voters head to the polls on Election Day, November 8!

12:22 PM:

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson encourages Michiganders to get out and vote!

11:27 AM:

Detroit NAACP issues the following statement in response to reported voting issues at some Detroit precincts:

"If for any reason there are problems at the polls regarding technical difficulties, armed persons so-called poll monitoring and intimidating your access to the voting booth, or any other reason, please contact the Detroit Branch NAACP hotline at (313) 664-2424. Every eligible voter should vote, and every vote must be counted. Election officials are working currently to correct any technical issues related to this matter. Until then, Stand Your Ground and vote. Take Your Soles To The Polls And Vote like your life depends upon it because quite frankly, it does," said LaToya Henry, Detroit NAACP.

10:15 AM:

Turned in your absentee ballot and want to check the status? Click this Michigan SOS link to find out the status of your ballot.

8:54 AM:

The polls have been open for nearly an hour. Reports have come in that some polling locations are experiencing technical issues.

7:53 AM:

Morning Anchor Keenan Smith did a live interview with Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown to explain the election process in Oakland County.

Oakland County Clerk explains county preparations during live interview

7:28 AM:

Morning Anchor Keenan Smith was live from Huntington Place Tuesday morning updating voters on the big races and safety measures Huntington Place/ASM Global have in place to ensure voter and election safety.

Huntington Place prepared for disruptions that may come

7 AM:

It's time to head to the polls! The polls are now open for most of Michigan. They will close Tuesday at 8 p.m.

View your sample ballot, check out the key races and more with our election guide here.