Ottawa County favors Santorum over Romney

Although Mitt Romney took Michigan on Tuesday, Ottawa County voters favored Rick Santorum in the Republican presidential primary.
Mark Brooky
Mar 1, 2012


Romney won the state with 41 percent to Santorum’s 38 percent. Ron Paul had 12 percent of the vote to 7 percent for Newt Gingrich.

In Ottawa County, Santorum finished with 48.7 percent of the GOP vote. Romney took 35.5 percent, Paul had 8.5 percent and Gingrich had 4.7 percent of the Republican ballots in the county, where the turnout was 24.8 percent of the 185,831 registered voters.

Santorum also topped Romney in Muskegon County (45 percent to 36 percent) and Kent County (42-40).

Santorum’s vote total in Ottawa County was 21,090 to Romney’s 15,352. However, Romney nearly doubled Santorum in absentee ballot voters: 2,331 to 1,299.

Since Michigan is an open primary, and voters only need to choose Democrat or Republican ballots whether they affiliate themselves with either party or not, the vast majority of voters Tuesday chose the contentious GOP ballot. In Ottawa County, the distant fourth-place finisher Gingrich had a few more votes than the lone Democrat on the ballot, incumbent President Barack Obama (2,023 to 2,016).

The other seven names on the Republican ballot totaled just 1 percent of the vote in Ottawa County, and nearly 2 percent selected “uncommitted.” On the Democratic Party side, Obama finished with nearly 86 percent of the vote; 13 percent marked “uncommitted” and write-ins totaled 1 percent.

Ballot proposals

There were also propositions on ballots in a few townships in Ottawa County on Tuesday.

A zoning referendum in Allendale Township was defeated 1,439 to 1,093. It would have allowed the expansion of the University Park development at the northwest corner of 48th Avenue and Lake Michigan Drive.

In Olive Township, the renewal of four-year, 1-mill fire-emergency tax was approved 557-204.

Zeeland Public Schools voters approved the renewal of an 18-mill operating millage by a more than 2-1 margin, 4,362 to 2,046.

A proposal in the Ravenna school district of Muskegon County to override the state Headlee Amendment to allow an additional four-year, 1-mill levy for school operations was defeated by a single vote, 335-334.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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