Abigail Censky

Politics/Government Reporter

Abigail Censky is the Politics & Government reporter at WKAR.

Abigail joined WKAR in December 2018.

Prior to joining WKAR, Abigail served as news intern at St. Louis Public Radio, covering the Missouri 2018 midterm elections; and covered Colorado politics as a reporter with the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Abigail Censky has a bachelor's degree from Colorado College.

Courtesy Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Monday morning Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a stay-at-home order for residents in the state to slow the spread of COVID19. Michigan is now the state with the fifth most cases—behind California, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. WKAR’s Politics reporter Abigail Censky joined All Things Considered Host Karel Vega via phone to break down what you can and can’t do under the order Below are highlights of their conversation:

How did we get here?

Early Wednesday evening President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act. This is the second bill congress passed to address the coronavirus.
Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Lawmakers in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress have been scrambling over the last several weeks to legislate for the largest public health crisis since the 1919 flu. WKAR Politics Reporter Abigail Censky spoke with Representative Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) and Michigan Senator Gary Peters about what Congress is doing to address the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the U.S. Below are highlights of their conversation.

What’s Been Done So Far?

Despite the Senator's stronger infrastructure from a primary win in 2016, Bernie Sanders was handily beat by former vice president Joe Biden on Tuesday. Biden outperformed Sanders, epsecially with women.
Abigail Censky, WKAR

After suffering a bruising defeat in Michigan’s presidential primary, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, declared Wednesday that he’ll stay in the race.

Bernie Sanders at his Grand Rapids rally on Sunday.
Abigail Censky/WKAR MSU

Michigan voters go to the polls Tuesday to pick who they think should win the Democratic nomination. A win in the battleground state – which helped Donald Trump win the presidency four years ago- could be pivotal for both Democratic frontrunners – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. 

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is forecasting an election "as secure  as ever" but with delayed results.
washingtontimes.com

Michigan’s top election official is already advising voters that results from Tuesday’s presidential primary will likely be late.


Bloomberg will officially be on ballots across the country for Super Tuesday, the first time he's appeared on a ballot alongside other Democratic frontrunners. He's betting heavily on a good Super Tuesday showing to transfer into wins the next week.
Maxim Jenkins, WKAR

While some of the biggest names in the race to become the Democratic nominee for President dropped out ahead of Super Tuesday, one candidate’s big gamble doesn’t start until today. Mike Bloomberg has spent a huge amount of money in Michigan ahead of the state’s primary next week, and he’s hoping the payoff could be a share of the state’s 147 delegates.

The Pivot County

It’s overcast and snow is on the horizon in Saginaw, Michigan—one of the twelve counties in the state that voted twice for President Obama and then for President Trump.

Medical marijuana photo
Dank Depot / flickr creative commons

More than a year after Michigan voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana, Lansing opened it’s first recreational pot shop on Friday.

A month ahead of Michigan’s March presidential primary, there’s been a 70 percent increase in absentee ballot requests, after voters in the state passed no-reason absentee voting in 2018.
James Durkee / Flickr Creative Commons

At 9:30 a.m. in the bowels of an old building, four elderly women are being trained to count absentee ballots at the City of Lansing’s elections unit.

Election Supervisor Robin Stites is firing up the tabulators for the trainees to practice on. Over the whir of the vote counting machines Stites says she’s worried, “When the results aren’t in and it’s held up by Michigan and we’re Iowa in the news, I just want to be like, ‘We tried! We tried!’”

A Surge In Absentee Ballots

A month ahead of Michigan’s March presidential primary, there’s been a 70 percent increase in absentee ballot requests, after voters in the state passed no-reason absentee voting in 2018.
James Durkee / Flickr Creative Commons

2020 is the first presidential election year Michigan voters will have access to no-reason absentee voting, and election clerks are expecting a surge in absentee ballots. A set of bills passed out of the state Senate Elections Committee Thursday will allow clerks to remove ballots from the mailing envelope, but not the secrecy sleeve the day before the election.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers her response to President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday.
Courtesy of the office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Her response centered on Democrat’s actions on health care, infrastructure, and education—notably departing from commenting on the content of the President’s remarks.

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