To learn more about the tabulators and voter assist terminals used by Kalamazoo County, visit https://www.essvote.com/faqs/.
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Voters may register in person or by mail up to 14 days prior to an election. You may register to vote at the Office of the City Clerk or any Michigan Secretary of State Branch Office. You may also register to vote by mail.
Voters may also register within 14 days of an election, up to and including Election Day, only through the following:
By law, voters must be 30-day residents of a jurisdiction to be qualified to vote in that jurisdiction.
No, you do not have to register each time. Registration is permanent as long as you continue to live in the city or township where you are registered.
You can register online at the Michigan Voter Information Center. You can also register at any of the 131 Secretary of State Offices, the office of your local city or township clerk, the office of your county clerk and other state offices.
Yes, you must mail a completed voter registration application postmarked on or before 14 days prior to the next election you wish to vote in. If you have never registered to vote in Michigan and choose to mail in your application, you will need to verify your identity by including the following:
All registered voters are eligible to vote via absentee ballot. Ballots may be obtained via postal mail until 5 p.m. the Friday before an election. Ballots may also be requested in person directly at the Office of the City Clerk up until 4 p.m. the Monday before an election - however, any ballots requested the day before the election must be voted immediately at City Hall.
The City Clerk’s Office cannot automatically send ballots to voters. Per Michigan state law, in order to issue an absentee ballot we must have a written request from the voter that is specific for that election.
No. Election law allows for only the registered voter to obtain a ballot. However, you may pick up an application for an absentee ballot for your spouse and you can deliver a voted ballot of any member of your immediate family or any a member of your household.
No - election law specifically states that power of attorney does not apply for voting purposes.
Any voter may ask to be placed on the Permanent Absentee Ballot Application List. Being on the Permanent List means the City Clerk’s Office will send a date-specific absentee ballot application to you prior to every election. In order to get a ballot, a voter on the permanent list must sign and return the absentee ballot application for that election.
Voters must ask to be on the list. The City Clerk’s Office cannot put voters on the permanent list without a request from the voter. You can call the Office at 269-329-4511 or email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being on the permanent list does not guarantee a ballot for every election. Rather, it means that you will automatically receive an application for an absentee ballot. The application must be completed and returned to the Office of the City Clerk prior to receiving a ballot. If you returned a completed application already, your ballot may be in process or your application may have been lost in the mail. Please call the City Clerk's Office to verify at 269-329-4511.
Receiving an absentee ballot application does not obligate the voter to cast an absentee ballot for that election. If a voter receives an absentee ballot application but doesn’t want to vote in that particular election or wants to vote in person on Election Day, they can simply throw the form away (or shred it). If the voter does not return the request form there is no consequence to the voter’s registration status, their ability to vote in person on election day, their ability to request an absentee ballot for future elections, or their place on the permanent list.
Signature requirements for mailed ballots allow election officials to verify a mailed ballot has been filled out by the correct voter. Signatures on file are compared with those on the envelope containing mailed ballots. Measures are in place to ensure ballots are as private as those completed at a polling booth. Mailed ballots are typically delivered to and picked up from the post office by two election office staff and transported in a secure container. These ballots are also processed by teams of election staff to ensure the integrity of the counting process.
Transparency is a critical part of election security. Almost all processes and procedures require two or more trained personnel be involved, and these election workers have taken an oath to uphold state election laws and protect election security. Representatives of political parties or candidates, and sometimes even members of the general public, are also allowed to observe and monitor activities throughout the election processes. Election officials also have contingency plans for emergencies like natural disasters and power loss.
Voting equipment is given logic and accuracy tests against a known set of marked ballots to ensure tabulators are counting ballots correctly. Post-election audits also ensure votes are counted correctly and procedures associated with transporting and securing ballots were followed throughout the election process. On election night, there are multiple sources of election results. Election data are reported by local jurisdictions, typically precinct by precinct, and these data are then uploaded to the county and state’s election reporting systems. This distributed system provides an archive of the results in addition to the hard copy, paper ballots in secure storage. If there is a problem with the reporting system, these archived copies can be used as backup.
After Election Day, each election jurisdiction engages in a canvassing process, where the entire election is reviewed. This canvass ensures that the number of voters recorded as having voted coincides with the number of ballots cast.