Votes cast against front-runners in Tuesday's Branch County presidential primary

BRANCH COUNTY — Only 17% of the county’s 9,043 voters cast ballots in Tuesday's Michigan presidential primary.

However, protests against incumbent Democrat Joe Biden and Republican front-runner Donald Trump showed in Tuesday’s tabulations.

Trump received 4,084 votes in the county, while 1,142 voted for Nikki Halley and 63 for Ron DeSantis in the Republican primary.

Coldwater voters receiving ballots for Tuesday's presidential primary at the Dearth Center.
Coldwater voters receiving ballots for Tuesday's presidential primary at the Dearth Center.

With Branch County overwhelmingly Republican, countywide, 1,193 voters cast a ballot for Biden. Dean Phillips received 58 votes and Marianne Williamson 54 in the Democratic race.

There were 208 Democratic votes for uncommitted amid a statewide protest against Biden’s Middle East policies.

In Coldwater’s four wards, 325 voted for Biden, while 92 voted uncommitted. 

In Coldwater’s fourth ward, where a majority of the city’s Arab population lives, 41 cast uncommitted votes, while 44 voted for Biden. 

Imams at the Coldwater Mosque wore “I voted” stickers Tuesday but declined to discuss their vote.

Voters checking into the Coldwater election precinct at the Dearth Center Tuesday.
Voters checking into the Coldwater election precinct at the Dearth Center Tuesday.

Coldwater City Clerk Shawna Chavez said of the 1,510 city voters, just over 400 voted in person Tuesday. Another 91 voted during the nine-day early voting period at the Dearth Center that ended Sunday.

The remainder two-thirds were absentee ballots requested by voters under constitutional changes approved in 2020.  

Chavez said the only problems were minor caused by incorrectly entered totals. Precinct clerks located the errors by 1:30 a.m. Wednesday for County Clerk Terry Kubasiak to release final results.

The county clerk’s office did not have the number of absentee voters on Wednesday, with those votes counted through the election day tabulators.

Related story Early voting turnout light so far in Branch County

Voters could bring in absentee ballots to the polls to cast them.

Only 300 cast ballots at the countywide centralized nine days of early voting.

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Chavez said she hoped voters in August and November would take advantage of early voting because that makes it easier on Election Day staff.

-- Contact Don Reid: dReid@Gannett.com 

This article originally appeared on Coldwater Daily Reporter: Low turnout Tuesday in Branch County with votes against front-runners