Reason to go to polls Tuesday

Many Upper Peninsula voters have good reason to go to the polls Tuesday, even if the field for the presidential primary has become somewhat diminished.

For the Democrats, it’s basically down to former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Independent from Vermont. On the Republican side, incumbent President Donald Trump has scant opposition.

But Dickinson, Iron and Menominee counties all have millage issues on the ballot as well, along with several township-specific measures and, for Norway-Vulcan schools, a sinking fund levy not to exceed 3 mills, or $3 per $1,000 of taxable property, for 10 years.

Residents who would be affected should weigh in on whether they favor having their tax money go to support such issues.

There is no political party registration requirement and any Michigan registered voter can participate in the presidential primary, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said.

Voters who do not wish to participate in the presidential primary may request a ballot that contains only local items.

Citizens can register to vote until 8 p.m. on Election Day. If a resident isn’t registered or needs to update an address, they can do so by appearing in person at their city or township clerk’s office and providing proof of residency.

All voters can go to the Michigan Voter Information Center at Michigan.gov/Vote to check registration status, find out how to register and be able to vote Tuesday, view the candidates and questions that will be on their ballot, get a map to their polling place and other helpful information.

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Additional information regarding Michigan’s presidential primary can be found at Michigan.gov/Elections.

Voter Assist Terminals will be available for voters with disabilities and any other voters who wish to use them.

As a result of the constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2018, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.

If voters already are registered at their current address, they can request an absent voter ballot in person at their clerk’s office anytime up to 4 p.m. today. If registering to vote or updating their address by appearing at their clerk’s office on Election Day, they can request an absent voter ballot at the same time they register. If they request their AV ballot the day before the election or on Election Day, they must vote the ballot in the clerk’s office.

Voters also can check with their clerk regarding the availability of a permanent absent voter list in their jurisdiction. If their clerk offers the service, voters can have an absent ballot application automatically mailed to them in advance of any future elections.

Although some of the presidential primary candidates have suspended their campaigns nationally, state law required the candidate listing to be finalized in December 2019. Therefore, the presidential primary ballots list some candidates who have since left the race.

If a voter wishes to spoil an absentee ballot already sent in, they can do so in person at the clerk’s office until 4 p.m. today. The voter can obtain a new absentee ballot there or vote at the polls. There is no option on Election Day to spoil an absentee ballot that has been received by the clerk.

At the polls, voters will be asked to present photo ID, such as a Michigan driver’s license or identification card. Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or fails to bring it with them can still vote. If the voter does not have a photo ID, the voter may sign a brief affidavit attesting to their identity. Their ballots will be included with all others and counted on Election Day.

If a voter wishes to take a photo of their marked or unmarked ballot in the voting booth, they may do so, but images of a voted ballot may not be shared within 100 feet of a polling place. Any other type of photography within the area where people are voting is prohibited. Selfies only are allowed outside the polling place.


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