DETROIT – Polls for primary day in Michigan will open in a matter of hours, and there are several important races to watch.
Experts believe both the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial numbers will come in early, but there are other races that appear to be a lot tighter.
As of Monday night, 529,320 absentee ballots have been returned, out of a total of 685,352. That's an uptick both in ballots requested and return rate.
In 2014, only 433,219 absentee ballots went out. But when the numbers are put into context, it still doesn't seem to be an overwhelming turnout.
The record turnout was 23 percent in 2002. Political strategist Dennis Darnoi said this year could come close to that number.
"I don’t know that we get that high this cycle, but I’d say it’s close -- 22 percent," Darnoi said.
The 13th Congressional District race is one to keep an eye on, where someone will replace retired Rep. John Conyers.
Also, the 11th Congressional District race for Dave Trott's seat is expected to be a hotly contested battle.
Darnoi said voters should also keep an eye on the SMART millage, which would fail in Macomb County.
"If it doesn't pass, that is a massive statement for those who are trying to get regional transportation, for those that argue we can’t grow our economy without transit," Darnoi said. "To get a no vote two years in a row out of Macomb -- that suggests they’re going to have a really hard time passing an RTA in 2019."
Be Heard. Go Vote!
A reminder to “Be Heard – and Go Vote!” this election season. The Aug. 7 primary election is your first chance to weigh in on big races for governor, U.S. Congress and the State Legislature. Unfortunately, last time around turnout was less than half of the voting public in southeast Michigan. We all have political opinions. Don’t just share them on social media. Share them in the voting booth.