Heavy Voter Turnout Expected for November Election
Ask local city and township clerks what’s on their mind lately and the first answer will probably be preparing for the upcoming Tuesday, November 6, 2018 November Election. Knowing that Michigan will have a new Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and 94th District State Representative because of term limits, and several local contested races like the City’s Mayoral and City Council races are also on the ballot, Frankenmuth City Clerk Phillip Kerns advised that the Department of State’s Bureau of Elections is advising locals about the importance of being prepared for increased voter turn-out for this Election. Both Frankenmuth Township Clerk Luci Valone and Kerns are used to high turn-outs for November Elections. In 2016 for the Presidential Election, turn-out was nearly 75%; however, Kerns advised that 1,200 absentee ballots were processed or nearly 30% of those registered in the City. Absentee ballots give voters who attend the polls some relief because over a quarter of the registered voters have already voted absentee and do not need to come to the polls on Election Day.
In addition, voters may need some extra time in the booth because this ballot will not feature the straight party ticket option as a result of state law enacted two years ago, that was temporarily halted by a judge, and then recently upheld by another judge. Kerns advised that although this isn’t a November Presidential Election, we are being told that turn-out could be greater than normal and voter interest in this Election is gaining momentum.
Because of these factors, City Clerk Kerns is also strongly encouraging those voters who are eligible to vote to do so by absentee ballot to help reduce the expected higher than normal turn-out. Although over 650 city voters have already requested a ballot and those ballots are being mailed this week, Kerns advised that there are many more eligible persons who can apply for an absentee ballot. The benefit is that you don’t have to find a parking place, stand in line and have that hurried feeling while voting because people are standing in line behind you. By voting absentee, you can vote in the comfort of your home, at your own pace and as long as the ballot is delivered back to the clerk by Election Day, your vote will count. Although you are automatically eligible to request an absentee ballot if you are over 60 years of age, the other reasons are: (1) you expect to be absent from the community in which you are registered the entire time the polls are open on election day, (2) you are physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another, (3) you cannot attend the polls because of the tenets of your religion, (4) you are a precinct inspector in a precinct other than the precinct in which you reside, and/or (5) you cannot attend the polls because you are confined in jail awaiting arraignment or trial.