Voting: Local Elections Feb. 26

February 21, 2013 by  


Voters who qualify can still obtain an absentee ballot

LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds residents to cast ballots in local elections Tuesday, Feb. 26.

“It only takes a few minutes to participate in one of our country’s basic freedoms,” said Johnson, Michigan’s chief elections officer.  “If your community has an election Tuesday, please cast your ballot.”

Elections will be held in 42 of Michigan’s 83 counties. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find out if there is an election in their community, voters can visit the Secretary of State website at www.Michigan.gov/sos or check with their county clerk’s office.  In addition, the Michigan Voter Information Center can help residents determine whether they’re registered to vote, direct them to their polling location and provide a sample ballot.  The website is www.Michigan.gov/vote.

There is still time for voters to obtain an absentee ballot. As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee ballot if you are:

•    age 60 or older
•    physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another
•    expecting to be out of town for the entire time the polls are open on Election Day
•    in jail awaiting arraignment or trial
•    unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons
•    appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

Those who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25.  Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, Feb. 25 must vote the ballot in the clerk’s office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.

Residents who registered to vote by mail or via a voter registration drive and have never voted in Michigan are not eligible to vote by absentee ballot in their first election. They must vote in person at their precinct. This restriction does not apply to voters who are overseas, disabled or 60 or older.

Absentee voters should remember to sign the return envelope. If a voter receives assistance in preparing the ballot, the signature of the person providing the assistance must also be on the return envelope. Signed absentee ballots can only be returned to a clerk’s office by the voter, a family member or person residing in the voter’s household, a mail carrier or election official.

Voters are reminded of the identification requirement. They will be asked to present photo ID at the polls, such as a Michigan driver’s license or identification card. Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or failed to bring it with them can still vote. They will sign a brief affidavit stating that they’re not in possession of a photo ID. Their ballots will be included with all others and counted on Election Day.

A specially equipped voting station called the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal is also available at each polling location for use by voters with disabilities.

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