Grand Rapids voters approve changes for local elections

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Voters in Grand Rapids have approved two changes to the way they elect local leaders like city commissioners and mayor.

The first proposal moves city elections from odd to even years. The second ends the practice of candidates avoiding a November runoff by winning a large enough percentage of primary votes.

The group behind the effort to move elections to even years argued it will increase turnout because people are more likely to vote in state and national elections, save the city money and reduce the influence of special interest groups. Mandating the November votes for local candidates is also designed to increase turnout.

OTHER BALLOT PROPOSALS IN WEST MICHIGAN

Voters have approved a 30-year, $1.78 million bond for Godfrey-Lee Public Schools. The money will pay for construction at Lee Middle and High School, which saw part of the building collapse in 2019, a new AC system, disability accessibility, safety, a new band room, and a new community wellness center.

News 8 is projecting Barry County voters have rejected a $25 million bond to fund the construction of a new sheriff’s office and jail.

In Kalamazoo County, voters were asked to approve a housing millage that would raise $50 million over eight years. That race is still too soon to call.