Vote Tuesday

It’s going to be a long ballot at Tuesday’s gubernatorial general election so area election clerks advise voters to become familiar with it before coming to the polls.

And, there are online links to view those ballots. Muskegon County Clerk has sample ballots at http://www.co.muskegon.mi.us/1460/Sample-Ballots, and the State of Michigan has sample ballots at www.michigan.gov/vote. At the county site just click on the precinct where you vote, and at the state site enter your address.

“I really encourage voters to vote by absentee ballot, if they qualify, with the amount of information on the ballot,” said Fruitland Township Clerk Karolyn Rillema.

Rillema expects a large turnout at the township’s two precincts (Precinct 1 at the Fruitland Community Building and Precinct 2 at the township hall).

And, of the 4,521 registered voters in the township, as of last Tuesday, she had received nearly 700 completed absentee voter ballots. Rillema expects to receive about 900 absentee voters ballots. Two years ago, during the presidential election which normally has the greatest turnout, the clerk said they had about 1,000 absentee voter ballots.

Even in the much smaller Whitehall Township, Clerk Sarah Sylvester reported at the township board’s Oct. 22 meeting that she had already received 200 completed absentee voter ballots.

“This is big,” City of Whitehall Clerk Brenda Bourdon commented on the expected turnout for Tuesday’s election.

Last Tuesday Bourdon said they have received 337 absentee voter ballots which is close to the 352 received in the last presidential election.

Bourdon said she has noticed more new registered voters for this election.

The city clerk said she expects a turnout close to the 2016 presidential election in which 69% of the city’s registered voters cast ballots. At last report she said the city has 2,100 registered voters.

And, those voters will have a long ballot. The two-sided ballot, Bourdon said, will be 20 inches long. “The last biggest ballot was 19 inches long,” she added.

Bourdon also encouraged people to vote by absentee voter ballot.

To help move the voting process on election day, Bourdon also recommends people review their sample ballot and bring their pictured ID to the polls. Voters with out an ID can still vote, but must fill out a form.

The Whitehall clerk also encouraged voters to come to the polls during slower times. “Avoid 7-8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (after work),” she said. Bourdon said the polls are actually slower the final hour (7-8 p.m.).

Polls at all precincts are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

The state and local proposals, along with the battles for state and local offices are expected to draw large number of voters.

Michigan voters will decide whether the state joins the tide of states approving the use of recreational marijuana by adults on Proposal 1.

Proposal 2 asks voters to approve a plan to appoint a citizen commission to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and US Congress every 10 years.

Proposal 3 would authorize automatic and election day voters registration, no-reason absentee voting, and straight party ticket voting.

Muskegon County has one ballot proposal which has received plenty of publicity heading into the election.

The 9-1-1 Central Dispatch is asking voters to approve an increase in the phone surcharge from 42¢ a line per month to up to $2.75 a line per month, for land lines and cell lines.

The increase, if approved, would pay for an upgraded 9-1-1 communications equipment which would improve an aging infrastructure which currently cannot communicate directly with most of the emergency services in the state and surrounding counties.

Blue Lake Township is asking for a renewal of a 3.5 mill levy for fire operations, equipment and maintenance, and Holton Public Schools is asking for renewal of its 18-mill non-homestead property tax levy.

Voters will also elect the governor, a U.S Senator, members of Congress, State Senator and House of Representatives, Secretary of State, Attorney General, members of the State Board of Education, Governors of Wayne State University, Regents of the University of Michigan and Trustees of Michigan State University. Also, five of the nine Muskegon County commissioner districts will have races on the ballot.

In the non-partisan ballot, will be trustee seats on local school boards, judges for the Court of Appeals, Circuit Court, Probate Court and District Court and Muskegon Community College trustees.

Dalton Township has two candidates vying for an unexpired term on the township board, and Fruitland Township has candidate running for terms on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

In Oceana County, there will be races for county commissioner in the 3rd, 4th ad 7th districts, and County Road Commission. Also, the City of Hart will be electing it mayor and two council seats. Several townships will filling partial terms for offices.