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Non-Partisan Information for the
November 8, 2005

KALAMAZOO & PORTAGE Elections

This Voter guide was prepared by the League of Women Voters of the Kalamazoo Area as a service to the voters. The League of Women Voters is a national non-partisan organization which encourages citizen participation in government. It never supports nor opposes any political party or any candidate. The League does support issues after careful study without regard to the stand of any party. League positions on issues are never indicated in Voter Guides.

Editors: Terry Hluchyj & Diane Worden

Vote Nov 8, 2005
Polls Open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Who May Vote?
All U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age by election day, who are registered at least 30 days before the election.

How?
The procedure involves three steps:

  1. Complete an application to vote.
  2. An election inspector checks your name against the list of registered voters for the precinct.
  3. You vote.

From the Kalamazoo County Election Guide 2004:
As a result of the Help America Vote Act, adopted in response to the problems connected with the 2000 Presidential Election in some parts of the country, new optical scan voting system was implemented in 2004 in every precinct in the county. Below are some brief descriptions about how this system works:

• Ballot — The Optical Scan voting system uses a sheet of heavy paper that the candidate names and proposals are printed on.

• Voting Process — The voter will use a pen and darken the oval just to the right of the candidate name (or Yes/No in the case of a proposal). Following voting, the voter will take the voted ballot to the ballot tabulator and feed the ballot into the device. The ballot is counted immediately and retained in the boxes below the device until after the election. If the device notices an error on the ballot (i.e., votes cast for more candidates than is allowed), it will make a small "beep." The voter will be able to read a message on a small screen on the device that will explain the error detected. The voter will then have an opportunity to have the ballot returned and request a replacement ballot or have the ballot counted with the error. If the ballot is not duplicated, the voter will risk not having all votes counted.

• Tabulation Procedure — At the close of the polls, the election inspectors will press a button on the tabulator that will print the totals from the precinct. If there are any write–in votes, they will be tabulated by hand and written on the appropriate forms. All required documents will then be transported to the local clerk and then to the County Clerk's Office for compilation.

• Internet Totals — As soon as possible, the precinct totals will be available on the Internet via the Kalamazoo County web site (www.kalcounty.com or www.electionmagic.com).
You may receive assistance when voting from anyone except an employer, union or their representatives. Election officials may assist you, in which case two inspectors (one from each major political party), will give assistance.

The League of Women Voters of the Kalamazoo Area (LWVKA) contacted local city and county clerks to identify proposals and candidates who will be on the ballot. Included were those known to have filed a declaration of intent to be write-in candidates at the time of printing this Voter Guide. We sought biographical information and answers to issue questions from each candidate. The word number limit for biographical information is 60 words unless otherwise indicated; limits for other answers accompany the questions for each office. An ellipsis and ending period (...) closes candidates’ statements where their submitted responses exceeded those set limits. Otherwise, responses were edited only for spelling. “Did not respond in time for publication” or “Did not respond to question” follows the candidate’s name when LWVKA did not receive a requested reply.

Candidates in partisan races are listed according to the order in which their parties registered in Michigan. Other candidates are in alphabetical order, according to the office being sought. The League of Women Voters of Michigan provided information, if any, about national and state candidates.

LWVKA publication of these candidate statements and opinions is solely in the interest of public service. No one should construe this service as a League endorsement in any way. The League of Women Voters takes no responsibility for any of the views or facts stated by the candidates.

Absentee Ballots

A voter may apply for an absentee ballot by 2:00 pm the Saturday before the election, either by letter or in person at the appropriate city or township clerk’s office. In case of emergency after that day, contact the clerk’s office.

You are eligible to vote absentee if you:

  • are 60 years of age or more.
  • expect to be absent from the area during the time the polls are open.
  • are unable to go to the polls and vote without the assistance of another person.
  • cannot attend the polls because of your religious beliefs.
  • are an election inspector in another precinct
  • are confined in jail or prison awaiting arraignment or trial.

Voters may cast their absentee ballots in the clerk’s office until 4:00 pm on Monday before the election. Ballots must be received in the clerk’s office by 8:00 pm on election day. For further information, contact the clerk: Kalamazo 337-8792, Portage 329-4511.

Editors’ Note
The League of Women Voters of the Kalamazoo Area (LWVKA) contacted local city and county clerks to identify proposals and candidates who will be on the ballot. Included were those known to have filed a declaration of intent to be write-in candidates at the time of printing this Voter Guide. We sought biographical information and answers to issue questions from each candidate. The word number limit for biographical information is 60 words unless otherwise indicated; limits for other answers accompany the questions for each office. An ellipsis and ending period (...) closes candidates’ statements where their submitted responses exceeded those set limits. Otherwise, responses were edited only for spelling. “Did not respond in time for publication” or “Did not respond to question” follows the candidate’s name when LWVKA did not receive a requested reply.

Candidates in partisan races are listed according to the order in which their parties registered in Michigan. Other candidates are in alphabetical order, according to the office being sought. The League of Women Voters of Michigan provided information, if any, about national and state candidates.

LWVKA publication of these candidate statements and opinions is solely in the interest of public service. No one should construe this service as a League endorsement in any way. The League of Women Voters takes no responsibility for any of the views or facts stated by the candidates.

Acknowledgments
The following organizations generously provided financial support for LWV voter service efforts, including this Voter Guide:

  • Bronson Healthcare Group
  • Donald and Ann Parfet Family Foundation
  • Kalamazoo Chapter,
    A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • League of Women Voters of the
    Kalamazoo Area Education Fund
  • Pfizer Inc.

5 Things to Remember on Election Day

YOUR BALLOT, YOUR VOTE. Don’t panic if you registered to vote but your name is not on the list. Get help from a poll worker to make sure your vote is counted. You may be directed to another polling place or given a provisional ballot.

I.D.–DON ’T GO WITHOUT IT. You may need to show I.D. To be safe, bring your driver ’s license, or a paycheck, utility bill or government document that includes your name and street address.

WRITING ON THE WALL. Look at the signs at the polling place for directions on how to use the voting machines, a list of your voting rights, and instructions for filing a complaint if your rights have been violated.

WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK. Poll workers are there to help you. They’ll show you how to work the machines and give you a provisional ballot if you need one. If you’re at the wrong polling place, they should tell you how to get to the right one.

IN AND OUT. You probably won ’t have to wait too long. But even if the line is long, don ’t leave without voting. The outcome of this election will be important!

—League of Women Voters of the United States

Additional Voter Information

The websites listed below will give you information that will help you be an informed citizen and voter.

League of Women Voters of the United States: www.lwv.org Information about the League and its resources; links to other sites. See also LWV of Michigan: www.lwvmi.org.

State of Michigan, Department of State:www.michigan.gov/sos Click on “Elections in Michigan.” Election laws, state election results and other voter information.

Publius Election Information Resources: www.publius.org. Check to see whether you are registered to vote, find your polling location, view your ballot and learn how to use your voting equipment.

Michigan Legislature:www.michiganlegislature.org Guide to State government, legislation, and links to other State websites.

U of Michigan Documents Center: www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs Local, state, federal and international government information, including candidates, issues, lobby groups and parties.

1Politics: www.politics.com Comprehensive links to presidential, gubernatorial, US Senate and Congressional candidates; political parties; issues; presidential administration.

Public Agenda Online: www.publicagenda.org Public opinion and policy analysis.

Institute for Public Policy & Social Research, MSU: www.ippsr.msu.edu Research and education about public policy issues.

Rock the Vote:www.rockthevote.org. Voting, political issues, elected officials and candidates; oriented to youth audiences.

Brookings Institute: The special focus of their site is campaign finance law and administration. It provides background information on current law and regulations, tracks legal developments in court cases and administrative decisions, and reports on proposed new legislation and other reform proposals. http://www.brookings.org/GS/CF/CF_HP.HTM