Important information for voting in the General Election

October 11, 2020

Important information for voting in the General Election

#Election2020

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 3. While the national media is focused on the presidential race, there are many other races and proposals that voters will need to select as well. Voters are encouraged to do their research on who and what they are voting for. A valuable tool is the Michigan Secretary of State’s website which allows a voter to see a sample of their ballot online. Click here to find your ballot.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day. Voters have the option to vote in person or by absentee (see below). 

The Ballot: 

The ballot in Mason County will have two sides. The front side is the partisan ballot. Voters have the option here to vote straight party or select each candidate one-by-one. Voters can also vote straight ticket and then also select a specific candidate from another party. That selection will replace the straight party vote for that particular race. 

The back of the ballot includes non-partisan races, millage requests, and statewide proposals. 

“Voters should take the time to read directions under each section heading of their ballots regarding how many candidates to select for each race,” Mason County Clerk Cheryl Kelly said.

Absentee Voting: 

In 2018 a bill was passed that allows voters to vote absentee without listing a reason. 

Mason County Clerk Cheryl Kelly said there has been some confusion about absentee voting, though the procedure hasn’t really changed much. 

In the State of Michigan, the only way to vote remotely is to request an absentee ballot. A registered voter must contact his/her municipal clerk or go to www.Michigan.gov/Vote and will then receive an application for an absentee ballot. The clerk will then send a ballot to the registered voter. Voters also have the option to vote at the clerk’s office using an absentee ballot. 

There are three ways to return the ballot: 

    • Through the mail (it must be postmarked by Nov. 2). The Michigan Secretary of State recommends that absentee ballots be mailed in by Oct. 19. 
    • Absentee ballots can be hand delivered to a voter’s respective municipal clerk up until 8 p.m. on election day. Absentee ballots cannot be dropped off at the polling place. County Clerk Kelly said the clerk or a representative must be in a separate location. In most precincts of Mason County, this is a completely separate location (see information below). Voters in Sherman and Sheridan townships will bring absentee ballots to the township halls, which also happen to be the polling places, but the clerks will be in a separate room. 
    • THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Some precincts have drop off boxes. A voter can only drop off their absentee ballot in the drop box located in their municipality. Kelly said there have been reports across the state of voters dropping off ballots in other jurisdictions from where they live, including other counties. “You cannot do this,” Kelly said. “This causes an extreme delay in counting the votes.” The irony is that many of those voters are trying to avoid sending their ballots in the mail and, as a result of the voter dropping their ballot off in a different jurisdiction, it will have to be mailed to the appropriate jurisdiction.

Other things to note about absentee voting: 

  • Voters cannot request an absentee ballot on election day. 
    • Voters have until 8 p.m. on election day to drop their ballots off in the appropriate drop box or clerk’s office. 
    • Absentee voters are encouraged to turn in their ballots as soon as they can. Turning them in on election day causes a delay in counting the votes. 
    • The deadline to request an absentee ballot be mailed to the voter is Friday, Oct. 30. 
    • Absentee ballots can be requested and filled out in person the weekend before the election. Clerks will be at their offices on Saturday, Oct. 31. The times may vary and should be confirmed with the local clerk. 
    • Same day voter registrants can complete an absentee ballot in person at the clerk’s office on election day. 
    • An emergency request can also be made in the case of a personal disablement, an illness or death. 

Mason County polling places and clerks: 

(voters should verify their respective polling place): 

  • Amber Township: Township Hall – 171 S. Amber Rd., Theresa Rohde, Clerk, 231-613-5533
  • Branch Township: Township Hall – 6688 E. First St., Kimberly Tenney, Clerk, 231-690-6137
  • Custer Township: Township Hall – 1950 E. US Hwy. 10, Ann Larr, Clerk, 231-936-1278
  • Eden Township: Township Hall – 3369 E. Hawley Rd., Julie Van Dyke, Clerk, 231-233-6867
  • Free Soil Township: Community Center – 8480 N. Democrat St., Lynda Papes, Clerk, 231-464-5825
  • Grant Township: Township Hall – 843 W. Hoague Rd., Mary Jo Janowiak, Clerk, 231-464-5473
  • Hamlin Township: Precinct One and Precinct Two: Township Hall – 3775 N. Jebavy Dr., Catherine Lewis, Clerk, 231-845-0092
  • Logan Township: Carr Area Fire Department – 3975 S. Tyndall Rd., John R. Kampfschulte, Clerk, 231-898-3968  
  • Meade Township: Township Hall – 5435 E. Free Soil Rd., Sue Hasenbank, Clerk, 231-464-5813
  • Pere Marquette Charter Township:
    • Precinct One Township Hall – 1699 S. Pere Marquette Hwy. 
    • Precinct Two Calvary Baptist Church – 220 N. Jebavy Dr.
    • Rachelle Enbody, Clerk, 231-845-1277
  • Riverton Township: Township Hall – 2122 W. Hawley Rd., Cindy Gerbers, Clerk, 231-757-2113      
  • Sheridan Township: Township Hall – 6407 E. Dewey Rd., Marlynn E. Gulembo, Clerk, 231-462-3565
  • Sherman Township: Township Hall – 3854 Main St., Kurt D. Lubben, Clerk, 231-462-3205
  • Summit Township: Township Hall – 4879 W. Deren Rd., Kay Deanda, Clerk, 231-843-0430
  • Victory Township: Township Hall – 4411 N. Stiles Rd., Barbara Egeler, Clerk, 231-843-3607
  • City of Ludington:
    • Precinct One Lakeview School – 502 W. Haight St.
    • Precinct Two L.F. Peterson Auditorium – 508 N. Washington Ave.
    • Precinct Three Ludington City Hall – 400 S. Harrison St.
    • Precinct Four Danish Brotherhood Hall – 1014 S. Madison St.
    • Precinct Five Ludington Fire Station – 918 E. Tinkham Ave.
    • Precinct Six Emanuel Lutheran Church – 501 E. Danaher St.,
    • Deborah L. Luskin, Clerk, 845-6237
  • City of Scottville: Precinct One and Precinct Two: Optimist Community Bldg. – 105 W. Green St., Kelse Lester, Clerk, 231-757-4729

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