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Information About Voting

Kalamazoo City Commission

Portage City Council

Mayor of Portage

Kalamazoo City Transit Authority Proposal

Kalamazoo City Referendum on Ordinance No. 1856

Polling Places

 

 

Vote Tuesday November 3, 2009
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 four steps:

  1. Complete an application to vote.
  2. An election inspector checks your name against the list of registered voters
    for the precinct.
  3. Show photo identification or sign an affidavit stating that you’re eligible to vote.
  4. Vote.

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.

About Voter Identification
A provision of Michigan election law requires voters to either present picture identification or sign an affidavit if they do not have picture identification with them.
To implement this requirement, precinct election workers will ask voters for photo identification at the polls. The following are acceptable forms of photo identification, assuming they are current and a picture is provided:
• Michigan driver’s license or personal ID
• Non-Michigan driver’s license or personal ID
• Federal or state government-issued ID
• U.S. passport
• Military ID
• Student ID—high school or accredited institution of higher education
• Tribal ID card
If the voter does not have an acceptable photo ID in his or her possession when offering to vote, that voter may sign an affidavit attesting that he or she is not in possession of a photo ID. A voter who completes an affidavit will be allowed to vote a regular ballot.

Write-in Candidates
To vote for a person whose name is not printed on the ballot, write the name of that person in the blank space provided for that office and darken the oval.

Votes for write-in candidates are counted only for persons who have declared their intent, at the appropriate jurisdiction, to be write-in candidates by 4 p.m. on the second Friday preceding the election.

Are You Registered & Who’s on Your Ballot?
The Voter Information Center on the Michigan Secretary of State website allows voters to confirm their registration status, obtain information on the location of their polling place, view a sample ballot and obtain other election-related information. Click here to visit the website.

Your Rights As A Voter
When you go to vote anywhere in the United States, you should be able to expect fair and decent treatment. That includes:
• Equal treatment and opportunity to register and vote, regardless of race, religion, national origin, sex or disability;
• Privacy—only you should know how you voted;
• Having your vote accurately recorded and counted;
• If you have a disability, access to a voting device you can use, and appropriate assistance;
• Assistance in voting from poll workers if you request it;
• Courtesy from poll workers and others at the polling place.

Excerpt from: Navigating Election Day—What Every Voter Need to Know; 2004 League of Women Voters of the United States

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

League of Women Voters of Kalamazoo Area Education Fund

A. Philip Randolph Institute

Editors’ Note

The League of Women Voters of the Kalamazoo Area (LWVKA) contacted local city and/or 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 75 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. Responses were edited for spelling. “Did not respond in time for publication” or “Did not respond to question” follows the candidate’s name when the League did not receive a requested reply. Candidates are in alphabetical order, according to the office being sought.
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.

How do I receive the ballot?
You can obtain an absent voter ballot by writing to the clerk of the city or township in which you are registered to vote. Ballots cannot be supplied through telephone requests. Your written request must include:

  • Your name
  • The date of the election
  • The address where you are registered to vote.
  • The reason why you are requesting an absent voter ballot.
  • The address where you wish to receive your ballot. (This must be your registration address, an address outside of your jurisdiction of registration, a hospital, or some other type of residential institution.)
  • Your signature and the date of your request.
    Blank absent voter ballot applications can be obtained through your city or township clerk.
  • Members of the armed forces and their spouses and dependents, members of the Merchant Marine and their spouses and dependents, and U.S. citizens temporarily living or traveling outside the territorial limits of the United States must sign the Federal Post Card Application under oath to obtain an absent voter ballot.

When must absent voter ballots be returned
to the clerk?

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 p.m. on election day. There are instructions included with the ballot regarding who is eligible to return a ballot on behalf of a voter. For further information, contact the Kalamazoo County Clerk (383-8840) or your city or township clerk.

How can I vote if…?

… I’m homeless
When you register to vote, you may use the address of the shelter where you sleep or the two nearest cross-streets to where you sleep at night.

… I have a criminal record
Unless you’re currently incarcerated after conviction, you can vote. Ex-offenders automatically regain the right to vote after completion of a prison sentence. It is recommended that ex-offenders update their voter registration after they leave jail or prison. 

… I’m awaiting trial in jail
You can vote by absentee ballot. Your local clerk, if asked, will send you an application for an absentee ballot and you can have your ballot sent to you.

… I’m in the military
If you’re out of state in the military, your last Michigan voter registration is still valid. For instructions and assistance, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program at http://www.fvap.gov/. If you registered to vote by mail from outside the U.S., you can vote by absentee ballot and the voter registration deadline of October 6 does not apply to you. This provision also applies to spouses and dependents of members of the armed forces.

… I’m a college student living away from home
You must register to vote where you maintain your principal residence in the state. You can register at your campus address or your address where you previously resided if that is still your “principal” residence. If you have a Michigan Driver’s License, your license address must be the same as your voter registration address and changing one of those addresses will automatically change the other. If you want to change where you’re registered to vote, do it 30 days before the election so you’ll be on the list at the polls on election day. 
If you register to vote at home and want to vote by absentee ballot, you need to either register to vote in person at the local clerk’s office or a Secretary of State branch office or visit the clerk’s office before you ask for an absentee ballot so that the clerk can verify your ID.

… English is not my primary language
In two townships in Michigan, ballots printed in Spanish are required:  Clyde Twp. in Allegan County and Buena Vista Twp. in Saginaw County. However, other areas may have them available, and requests for non-English ballots should go to your county clerk. You are allowed to bring someone to the polls with you to assist you in reading the ballot.

For questions relating to the election process, contact your local Clerk or visit the Michigan Secretary of State website

Kalamazoo City Scott A. Borling, CMC (269) 337-8792
Portage City James R. Hudson, CMC (269) 329-4511