Deadline Monday to register to vote in August primary

Want to vote in the Aug. 7 primary in Michigan? The deadline to register is Monday. Yes, this Monday.

“Because every community will have an election on this date, I encourage everyone eligible to register to vote and then cast your ballot on Election Day,” Secretary of State Ruth Johnson stressed. “You have an incredible opportunity to make your voice heard on federal, state and local leadership, but you must be registered first.”

Not sure you care about this round? Well, the candidates for governor will be on the ballot, and Gov. Rick Snyder will not be among them — he’s out on term limits. So a new name and face will lead state government for the next four years. That’s worth learning who wants the job and weighing in on your preferred party’s choice that will appear on the November ballot.

Also, the Aug. 7 ballot will have several Dickinson County-wide millage renewals, such as 911 emergency dispatch, the county library and senior centers and programs.

There will be Republican primary races in the 110th House District, the 38th Senate District, and for the U.S. Senate as well.

To register to vote, applicants must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old by Aug. 7.

Applicants also must be residents of Michigan and of the city or township where they plan to register. Voters may register by mail or in person at their county, city or township clerk’s office or by visiting any Secretary of State office.

Residents can go to www.Michigan.gov/vote to find the address of their local clerk or obtain the mail-in voter registration application. First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60 years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

Voters who already are registered but need to change their address may be able to update that information online at www.ExpressSOS.com. To check on registration status, go to the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.Michigan.gov/vote. The site also has a sample ballot and lists the polling place.

Residents can find information as well on absentee voting, Michigan’s voter identification requirements and how to use voting equipment.

Voters who qualify may choose to cast an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots are available to registered voters age 60 or older; physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another; expecting to be absent from the community for the entire time the polls will be open on Election Day; in jail awaiting arraignment or trial; unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons or who will be working as an election inspector in a precinct outside of the voter’s precinct of residence. Applications for an absentee ballot should be submitted to the voter’s local clerk.

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