What's in this Guide

Information About Voting

Kalamazoo City Commission

Portage City Council

Mayor of Portage

Kalamazoo Ballot Proposal

Polling Places

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 community in which you are registered to vote for the entire time the polls are open on election day.
  • 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 a precinct other than the one in which you reside.
  • 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 your city or township clerk.

Vote Tuesday, November 8, 2011
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.

The procedure involves these 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.
  5. Tabulate the ballot by inserting it into the optical scanner.

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 (ID), 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. https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/mivote/

For Students
The State of Michigan allows students to register to vote at a permanent address (a parent’s address, for example) or at a school address. It is important to know that the address on your voter registration must match the address on your driver’s license. Registering to vote will change the address found on your driver’s license, if you register at a different address. Likewise, if you change the address on your driver’s license, the address of your voter registration will be changed to match. You can vote only in the precinct where you are registered, so take that into consideration when you complete a voter registration form or renew your license.

Editors’ Note
The League of Women Voters of the Kalamazoo Area (LWVKA) contacted local city 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; 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.

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 Kalamazoo Chapter