And it came to pass - by 136 votes!

Interurban Transit Partnership Millage Proposal
YES - 17,284 - 50.2%
NO - 17,148 - 49.8%

Having been involved with the GOTV vote for the Rapid Yes campaign, I can tell you that it was a privilege to play such a pivotal role in this very important initiative. Thank goodness this passed - without it, they would have had to settle for a renewal of the existing 1.12-mill rate next year, passage of which would have been critical for the Rapid to even function thereafter.

Instead, just enough voters ignored the demands of tea party favorite Eric Larson - who led the 'vote no' campaign despite not even living in the Rapid service area. The millage passed by 0.94 votes per precinct. There were 615 undervotes in this race (which is the number of people who voted in the 6-city Rapid service area but didn't vote on the Rapid/ITP question); that is 4 1/2 times the margin by which it passed.

Because the proposal passed, we will move toward having a world-class public transit system here in Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids Community College Trustee
Bert Bleke - 27,985 - 35%
Richard Stewart - 19.804 - 25%
Fred Sebulske - 18,604 - 23%
Frank Murin - 13,696 - 17%

Bleke and Stewart replace incumbents Janice Maggini and Michael Stearns, who did not run for re-election.

When Bleke filed to run, I figured he'd be a favorite to win based on his name recognition alone (which is critical in an obscure office like GRCC Trustee). Stewart was helped (or possibly hurt) by a robocall made on his behalf by state Rep, Dave Agema. Sebulske was the only person I voted for who did not win - his narrow, 1,200-vote loss puts him in good position for victory in 2013 or 2015, if he runs. Frank Murin - who lost a race for State House last year - mentioned on all his campaign signs that he was a Republican. Evidently, calling yourself a Republican doesn't work as well as it used to around here.

It seemed like a lot of conservatives voted for Murin and Stewart (who were endorsed by Right to Life), while many on the left (including myself) voted for Bleke and Sebulske. I was concerned that Stewart and Murin would win in a landslide, which is why I am pleasantly surprised that Bleke did so well and that the little-known Sebulske came so close.

Considering that 54,207 Kent County voters voted, and that each voter can vote for up to two people, there were 28,325 undervotes in this race.

Kentwood School Board
Mimi Madden* - 2,430 - 39%
Angie Forton - 1,984 - 32%
Kevin Rex Heine - 1,792 - 29%

Madden wins her third term, while Forton replaces the legendary Bill Joseph, who was first elected at the end of my second-grade year.

Heine, a Republican precinct delegate, had no campaign signs, while Madden's and Forton's signs were often paired with each other - one would rarely find a Madden sign without a Forton sign, and vice versa. That Heine nonetheless did so well tells me that he likely ran a word-of-mouth campaign.

There were a number of close elections, including:

Grandville Public School Board
Robert Wondergem* - 2,455 - 33.9%
Christine Buck - 2,399 - 33.2%
Steve Zinger* - 2,378 - 32.9%

Harper Creek Community Schools Operating Millage
YES - 884 - 50.5%
NO - 866 - 49.5%

Montcalm Community College Operating Millage
YES - 3,754 - 49.95%
NO - 3,762 - 50.05%

Orchard View School Board
Robert Larabee - 527 - 40.23%
Chuck White - 392 - 29.92%
Shirley Haase - 391 - 29.85%

Yep. One single vote. On the other hand:

Zeeland Electrical Equipment Sale Proposal
YES - 625
NO - 15

Who are those 15, and why did they vote against it?

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