By NIKKI YOUNK
IRON MOUNTAIN - With the general election is coming up on Nov. 6, local clerks would like to remind Michigan residents about some deadlines and procedures.
Andrew Gatien, left, of Hermansville looks over a voter registration form at the Secretary of State in Iron Mountain as Linda Gurgall, clerk, discusses the form.
The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Residents may register with their local city or township clerk, their county clerk, or at any Secretary of State branch office.
Dickinson County Clerk Dolly Cook pointed out that the registration deadline was extended by one day this year, due to the Columbus Day holiday on Oct. 8.
Michigan residents can check their voter registration status, find their polling locations, and view sample ballots by logging on to www.michigan.gov/vote.
Any resident who wants to vote through an absentee ballot must fill out an absentee ballot application with his or her local city or township clerk. Absentee ballots are not available through the county clerk's office nor the Secretary of State branch offices.
Completed absentee ballots must be dropped off at or mailed in to the local clerks' offices prior to Nov. 6.
Cook recommended that absentee voters close to home mail their ballots two to three days prior to the election. Absentee voters who are farther away should mail their ballots sooner, she added.
First-time voters must register to vote in person if they plan to vote by absentee ballot. Those first-time voters who register by mail cannot vote by absentee ballot.
Cook said that this has been a problem in the past for college students, who are often away from their home districts during the entire election season.
According to Cook, college students can now register in person at the clerk's office in the county where they go to school (if it is in Michigan), then request an absentee ballot from their home district.
Since there will be several write-in candidates in both Dickinson and Iron counties in the November election, residents also need to know how to properly vote for a write-in candidate.
Iron County Clerk Joan Luhtanen explained that all write-in candidates must file a declaration of intent by Friday, Oct. 26.
Any write-in votes for a candidate who has not filed a declaration of intent will not be counted.
Luhtanen said that anyone who wishes to vote for a write-in candidate can follow three easy steps:
- Find. Find the race in which you want to vote for a write-in candidate.
- Write. Write in the candidate's name in the empty space provided.
- Fill. Fill in the oval next to the write-in candidate's name. The oval must be filled in to count as a vote.
Luhtanen added that election inspectors are allowed to instruct voters how to properly vote for a write-in candidate, but they may not provide the names of write-in candidates.
Wisconsin voting information is available at myvote.wi.gov.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.