Detroit Regional Chamber > Media Coverage > Detroit election 2021: Everything you need to know to vote at the polls on November 2

Detroit election 2021: Everything you need to know to vote at the polls on November 2

November 2, 2021
Detroit Free Press
Nov. 1, 2021
Dana Afana

The Michigan general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 2, and there are several key races and ballot proposals in the Detroit election.

Voters can fill out their ballots for mayor, City Council, city clerk, Board of Police Commissioners, community advisory council and Proposals R, E and S.

Here is what to know about voting.

When, where to vote in Detroit election

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Absentee ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. to the clerk.

To find your polling location, visit the Michigan Voting Information Center website. You can also search for a ballot drop box near you.

What to bring

Voters will be asked to show a photo ID such as a Michigan driver’s license, state identification card, U.S. passport, or a military, student or tribal identification card.

Those without an ID can still vote by signing an affidavit.

Voter registration

The deadline to register to vote is 8 p.m. on Election Day. Since the election is less than 15 days away, you must register to vote at your clerk’s office.

To be eligible to register to vote, you must be:

  • A Michigan resident at the time you register.
  • A U.S. citizen.
  • At least 18 years of age when you vote.
  • Not currently serving a jail or prison sentence.

Bring one of these documents for proof of residency:

  • A Michigan driver’s license or state ID
  • Current utility bill or bank statement
  • Paycheck or government check
  • Other government document

Check your registration status online.

Detroit mayoral race

Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit attorney Anthony Adams are facing off for the city’s top seat.

Duggan, who is seeking a third term as Detroit’s mayor, swept the primary by a significant margin. The mayor aims to build on the city’s efforts to reduce blight, pour more resources into home repairs and jobs, and beautify the city.

Adams, who has been highly critical of Duggan, hopes to unseat the incumbent with his platform of stabilizing neighborhoods, reducing crime and providing robust social services in schools and job training programs.

Detroit City Council

A slew of new candidates running for City Council would like to provide fresh representation amid an FBI investigation in the city while a few officeholders hope to retain their positions despite the headlines about alleged corruption. Two incumbents seeking reelection have been linked to an ongoing public corruption investigation, though neither have been charged.

Two council members, Gabe Leland and Andre Spivey, resigned this year amid public corruption charges, leaving two open seats in Districts 4 and 7.

Here are the candidates:

City Council has two citywide, at-large seats. Candidates include incumbent Janeé Ayers and challengers Coleman Young II, Mary Waters and Nicole Small. Ayers and Young were the top vote-getters in the August primary election.

District 1: Councilmember James Tate Jr. is facing Krystal Larsosa.

District 2: Councilmember Roy McCalister Jr. and Angela Calloway.

District 3: Councilmember Scott Benson is running unopposed.

District 4: Latisha Johnson and ML Elrick are running for the  seat formerly held by Spivey.

District 5: Council President Pro-Tem Mary Sheffield is running unopposed.

District 6: Hector Santiago and Gabriela Santiago-Romero will face off.

Duggan publicly supported Santiago-Romero, a first for the mayor during one of his three campaigns.

District 7: Fred Durhal and Regina Ross are vying for the seat formerly held by Leland.

Detroit City Clerk

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey aims to retain her seat as she navigates running the Nov. 2 election. The clerk is responsible for administering elections and providing City Council records such as meeting minutes, ordinances, resolutions and other proceedings.

Her challenger Denzel McCampbell, currently on leave as communications director for Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, has called for a transformation of voter outreach in Detroit.

Detroit Proposals R, E and S

Voters will decide whether to pass ballot initiatives on reparations, decriminalizing some psychedelics and giving citizens more of a direct say in city spending.

Proposal R seeks to establish a task force on reparations to redress the harms of historical racism against Black Detroiters.

Proposal E seeks to de-emphasize law enforcement for some who possess and therapeutically use hallucinogenic plants, such as magic mushrooms.

Proposal S seeks to change a section of the city’s governing document that would give citizens more power over city spending through future ballot initiatives. It allows voters to push for specific initiatives, though municipal experts warn that it could hinder budget planning and draw in special interests to fund personal projects.

Other local races

Several candidates are vying for seats on the Board of Police Commissioners, which oversees the Police Department. Candidates include:

District 2: Linda Bernard is seeking reelection against Lavish Williams

District 3: Cedric Banks

District 4: Willie Bell is seeking reelection against Scotty Boman

District 5: Willie Burton

District 6: Lisa Carter is seeking reelection against Landis Spencer.

Three candidates are on the ballot for community advisory council seats. They include Dennis Bryant in District 4, and Clinton Topp and Bobbi Johnson in District 7.

Their list of duties includes communicating resident concerns with the City Council, providing advice on major issues such as housing, blight and safety, understanding the city charter and more.

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