MARQUETTE, Mich., (WJMN) – The general election is drawing closer, if you haven’t made plans to vote yet there are options.
Linda Talsma, Marquette County Clerk, says early voting in-person, absentee ballots and regular in-person day of voting are all available for registered voters.
“All of our precincts and jurisdictions have the ballots at their disposal right now,” said Talsma. “What you can do is call, make an appointment, go in and ask for an absentee ballot and then they will provide one for you, and then you can actually go ahead and vote it if you’d like and then put it in the envelope and then they will keep it in their vault.”
Talsma says people have already came in to vote and clerks are sending out absentee ballots daily.
“The first batches I know have been sent but they’re going to be sending so many every day,” said Talsma.
So far, around 30% of registered voters in Marquette County have sent in applications for absentee ballots according to Talsma. Kyle Whitney, City Clerk for Marquette, says for city residents the same options are available and that nearly 40% of their registered voters have already applied for absentee ballots.
“To date, we’ve got I think about 5,600 absentee ballot requests in the City of Marquette,” said Whitney. “Which is almost 40% of our registered population in the city.”
If you are voting absentee and don’t want to send your ballot in the mail. There are two locations for voters in the City of Marquette, one in front of the Marquette Municipal Service Center and the other at City Hall. Talsma says county residents will have access to drop boxes in their jurisdiction.
“We have ballot boxes that people can actually bring in their applications and put them in the box or if they’ve already voted an absentee ballot, put that envelope in our drop boxes as well,” said Talsma. “I have one in front of my county office and the jurisdictions will have them as well.”
The City of Marquette and Marquette County have both been making preparations for voting during COVID-19. Talsma says they don’t expect to have any delays on election day.
“We knew the high absentee voter count would be there just because of the COVID instance,” said Talsma. “So what we’ve done is Marquette City for instance, has four absentee voter counting boards going to be in place and working.”
Another preparation that Marquette has made according to Whitney is the operation of a satellite clerk’s office in the Northern Center on NMU’s campus. People will be able to register to vote and turn in their absentee ballots at the location.
“With the new rules adopted with proposal three in 2018 we saw a very high number of same-day and day before registrations in the March election,” said Whitney. “And so the August numbers were pretty low but we expect an extremely high number of students looking to register and to vote in the days leading up to the November election.”
Whitney says they hope that by providing that service on campus they can get to those students trying to register and vote ahead of time. For more information on voting, you can visit the Michigan Voter Information Center.