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Live Blog: Mitt Romney Wins in Birmingham

The presidential primary is Tuesday and Patch will be bringing you the news as it happens.

10: p.m.:

And the results are in!

Mitt Romney takes Birmingham with 2,660 votes, compared to Santorum's 662. Ron Paul comes in third with 284 votes.

Stay tuned to Birmingham Patch tonight for a full story on the results.

8:30 p.m.:

Bloomfield Patch editor Art Aisner spotted State Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham) outside the ballroom where Mitt Romney supporters are gathering tonight in Novi.

Moss, donning a lapel button from one of George Romney's gubernatorial campaigns, in the 1960's, said he fully supports the current GOP presidential hopeful, and was shocked to get a robo call today from opponent Rick Santorum's camp urging Democrats to support him in today.

"I really couldn't believe it, but he copped to it. I guess he's got to try," he said.

Moss said he received it from his father-in-law, who was a big Romney supporter and was part of former Gov. Romney's initial campaign from 1962.

8 p.m.:

And the polls are closed!

The votes from Birmingham’s nine precincts will be tallied at the City Clerk’s office in starting right now, with office representatives announcing the official results at the count is through.

Those wishing to hear the election results in person are asked to enter City Hall through the Pierce Street entrance. The complete unofficial election results will be posted on the city’s website — bhamgov.org/electionresults. You can also find the results at the Oakland County website.

Patch will also be live-streaming the results all night, so stay tuned.

6 p.m.:

With voters still heading to the polls in today’s presidential primary, Birmingham voters still have the chance to turn in absentee ballots.

Absentee ballots will be accepted until 8 p.m. Tuesday at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall.

According to City Clerk Laura Broski, as of last week, 1,533 absentee ballots had been mailed out for today’s primary. Absentee ballots are typically counted last, at the end of the night Tuesday.

In the November 2011 election, a total of 1,749 absentee ballots were mailed out, and 1,511 were returned. That’s an 86 percent return rate.

5 p.m.:

As the workday comes to an end — and the polls brace for the dinner rush before finally closing at 8 p.m. — the consensus is clear: traffic has been “steady.”

“But steady is good,” one elections inspector at Precinct 8 noted.

At Precinct 8, located at the , 137 ballots had been cast as of 4:30 p.m. Precinct 8 stretches south of Maple Road and north of Lincoln, and then west of South Eton all the way to Woodward. Part of downtown is also in the eighth precinct.

Around that same time, at Precinct 9, 124 ballots had been cast so far at the polling station at the . The ninth precinct covers the southeastern corner of the city, from the railroad tracks to Woodward, from 14 Mile all the way up to Lincoln.

4 p.m.:

With turnout still fairly light so far, this year’s primary could still stack up to the 2008 presidential primary as long as voters keep coming to the polls.

City Clerk Laura Broski said she expects a 30 percent turnout for Tuesday’s primary. This is down from the turnout in the 2008 presidential primary, in which voter turnout was 35 percent. During that vote, Mitt Romney received 52 percent of the Republican vote, followed by John McCain with 31 percent.

Still, 30 percent is higher than the turnout for Birmingham’s November 2011 election, in which four city commission and two school board seats — as a well as school millage — were up for grabs. In that election, Birmingham saw a 26 percent turnout.

3 p.m.:

With only the Republican nomination up for grabs during this primary, it’s no wonder Democratic ballots haven’t been as popular Tuesday as the lengthier Republican ballots (for a peak at what both ballots look like, check out ).

Still, is this a Republican town? According to City Clerk Laura Broski, more Republicans voted during Birmingham’s last presidential primary in 2008, though there were two full ballots in that case.

According to Broski, there were 3,626 Republican ballots cast in 2008 but only 1,625 Democratic ballots submitted.

But that doesn’t mean Birmingham swings red all the time. During the general election in November 2008, Barack Obama received 52 percent of the city’s vote.

2 p.m.:

Just because the names on the ballot are for the presidential nomination, that doesn’t mean area political hopefuls can’t get in on the action as well.

Signs for David Wolkinson, a West Bloomfield Township native who wants to run for state representative, were cropping up in Birmingham Tuesday. Wolkinson told Patch that he’s looking to run in Michigan’s 40th District come this fall, though an official announcement will be made March 1.

"Happy to hear people in Birmingham saw the WOLKINSON signs," Wolkinson tweeted. "Announcement coming soon."

Signs for Wolkinson were outside Tuesday, the site of Precincts 2 and 3. On Twitter, Wolkinson (under @DWolkinson) noted that on Tuesday, he “got up early to vote and to get signatures for my petition that would make me a candidate for state representative!”

1 p.m.:

Though Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have been the favorites entering Tuesday’s primary, there are still Birmingham voters looking to Ron Paul to take the Republican nomination.

One of those voters is Eve Jung, who cast her vote for Paul at Precinct 4, located at the , Tuesday afternoon.

This is the first time Jung has voted for Paul, though she said she’s been watching him for the past eight years.

What does Jung like about Paul? “I like his platform of non-interventionism,” she said, “which some people confuse with isolationism.”

Noon:

Lunchtime is here and voters are starting to trickle in on a regular basis at several of Birmingham's polling precincts.

At Precinct 4, located at the , 142 voters had passed through by 11:30 a.m. In the regular election in November, Precinct 4 had the highest total turnout among Birmingham's nine polling precincts.

Meanwhile, Precincts 2 and 3, both located in the gym at , was seeing regular traffic. At Precinct 2, 128 voters had passed through at 11:30 a.m.; at Precinct 3, 89 residents had voted.

Traffic was slow, but steady, said an elections inspector at Precinct 4, noting after school and during lunch is usually the busiest time for the polls.

When it comes to the general election this fall, however — well, that's a different story.

"People need to pick their times," she said.

11 a.m.:

The Guardian's Adam Gabbatt was in Birmingham Tuesday morning reporting for the British website's primary blog. While at Precinct 1 Tuesday morning, Gabbatt reported the turnout had been "sluggish" so far.

Meeting several Mitt Romney supporters, Gabbatt talked with Birmingham's Thomas Goad, a long-time General Motors employee and Romney supporter.

"I've known him the longest and I trust him the most," Goad said, adding that he "was not worried" about Romney's stance on the automotive industry industry. "I never considered anyone else. Rick Santorum for some reason he just turns me off with his speeches."

10 a.m.:

Elections inspector Valerie Forester is hoping Birmingham residents get out to the polls on Tuesday, if only for one important reason:

“Your right to vote is your right to gripe,” the long-time elections inspector said at the , or Precinct 1. The precinct stretches along the west side of Old Woodward and Woodward, all the way to Quarton Road.

Early Tuesday morning, however, the turnout was light at Precinct 1, but according to fellow elections inspector Marcia Swain, that’s to be expected. As of 8:45 a.m., there had been 44 votes cast at the school.

Swain said during the last presidential primary, there was a “fairly decent turnout,” however there were full ballots for both Republicans and Democrats in that race. This year, the Democratic ballot has only President Barack Obama. 

That will all change in November, both women said. Swain said in November 2008, the line to vote was out the door by 7 a.m., when polls opened.

9 a.m.:

Birmingham was American Election Headquarters Monday night as Fox News’ Bret Baier filmed a special primary episode of Special Report at the .

The show, which aired at 6 p.m. Monday, featured two panels of experts, including a Michigan panel with Wayne State’s Jack Lessenberry, The Michigan View editor Henry Payne and Bill Balanger, editor of Inside Michigan Politics.

The show also included a panel talking about Afghanistan featuring Steve Hayes, Kirsten Powers and Charles Krauthammer.

Baier posted behind-the-scenes photos from his Michigan visit on his blog, The Daily Bret, Monday. Meanwhile, Enjoy Birmingham NOW, the Facebook and Twitter presence of the , posted their own photos of Baier filming the show outside the Birmingham 8 on Monday night.

8 a.m.:

Candidates for the Republican nomination for president have been all over Michigan during the past week and a half, hoping to win on a primary day when both Michigan and Arizona go to the polls.

Republican candidate Newt Gingrich skipped Michigan an in attempt to focus on next week’s Super Tuesday, a move analysts in the Detroit News say is smart since Michigan is a state “he has no chance of winning.” Super Tuesday, this year, will be held on March 6 and will involve contests in 10 states, including nearby Ohio.

That has left Michigan to be courted by Michigan-born Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. Where have these candidates been in recent days?

  • Royal Oak: Monday night.
  • Dearborn: at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center Monday night.
  • Livonia: Monday morning.

7 a.m.:

The Michigan presidential primary is finally here, and the polls are officially open!

Voting is open today until 8 p.m. at Birmingham's nine precincts.

If you're going out to vote today, make sure to bring your warm coat. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures this morning are around 27 degrees, though skies are clear.

The rest of the day will be partly cloudy, with a high of 38 degrees. Some sunshine will be mixed in with the clouds.

If you're wondering what the ballot looks like before you head out to the polls — whether you're voting Democrat or Republican — make sure to check out . You may have heard a lot about Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum recently, but they're only two of 12 options on the ballot.

Make sure you double check where to vote with . Plus, to round out your primary experience, jump on over to , where Patch editors from around Michigan will be posting photos, stories and videos from the polls all day.

Do you have an Election Day story? Did you notice something interesting or odd when you were voting? Do you have something to say about the candidates or issues? Send your story to Editor Laura Houser at laura.houser@patch.com or give her a call at 248-534-9780.

And it doesn't matter who you're voting for today — snap a picture of your lawn signs, bumper stickers or campaign rallies Tuesday and we'll add it to our photo gallery, .

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