‘Make your vote count’ Nov. 3.

October 15, 2020

‘Make your vote count’ Nov. 3.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Oceana County Clerk Amy Anderson advises ballot casters to “make your vote count.”

The ballot in Oceana County feature two sides with the front side containing the partisan ballot. There are non-partisan judicial candidates as well as village, school and proposals on the second side. Voters have the option 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.

Absentee ballots can be processed two weeks after the election if they are postmarked on or before Nov. 2, Anderson said.

Mail-in ballots began being mailed Sept. 24.

As far as what percentage of Oceana County residents will vote by mail as opposed to in-person remains to be seen. “We are not sure as this is the first general election since the passage of State Proposal 18-3,” Anderson said. Part of the proposal allows Michigan voters to obtain absentee ballots without providing a reason.

Mail-in voting has become much more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Voter Participation Center, more than 60 percent of Michigan voters in the 2020 primary election voted by mail. Five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington – conduct what are commonly referred to as all-mail elections. In these states, voting is conducted primarily, although not necessarily exclusively, by mail.

Despite the convenience for voters, mail-in ballots may not be more convenient for those counting the ballots. “I believe that it may take a little longer to process the ballots,” Anderson said.

In 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:

1. 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.

2. 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. The clerk or a representative must be in a separate location.

3. Some precincts have drop-off boxes. A voter can only drop off their absentee ballot in the drop box located in their municipality. There have been reports across the state of voters dropping off ballots in other jurisdictions from where they live, including other counties.

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 that an absentee ballot be mailed to the voter is Friday, Oct. 30. If the ballot must be issued by mail, the application for the ballot must reach the election official no later than 5 p.m. the Friday prior to the election.

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, illness or death.

Make sure to place a postage stamp on the mail-in ballot if required. Some jurisdictions put return postage on the return envelopes before mailing them. However, if the return envelope does not have return postage, the voter should make sure the appropriate amount of postage is on it.

Oceana County polling locations and clerks:

BENONA TOWNSHIP HALL: MARGIE SHAW, CLERK​​​, 7169 W. BAKER RD., SHELBY MI 49455; 231-861-2154.

CLAYBANKS TOWNSHIP HALL: MARY FREYE, CLERK, 7577 W. CLEVELAND RD., NEW ERA, MI 49446; 231-861-5957.

COLFAX TOWNSHIP HALL: LARRY BURMEISTER, CLERK, 5594 N. 192ND AVE., WALKERVILLE, MI 49459; 231-873-4338.
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CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP HALL: PATRICIA AMSTUTZ, CLERK, 1499 E. HAMMETT RD., HART, MI 49420; 231-873-8336.

ELBRIDGE TOWNSHIP HALL: STEPHANIE VANSICKLE, CLERK​, 2266 E. POLK RD., HART, MI 49420; 231-873-4740.

FERRY TOWNSHIP HALL: WILLIAM JESSUP, CLERK, 3222 GREEN ST., SHELBY, MI 49455; 231-861-0545.

GOLDEN TOWNSHIP HALL: RACHEL ITEEN, CLERK​, 5527 W. FOX RD., MEARS, MI 49436; 231-873-4413. ​ ​

GRANT TOWNSHIP HALL: WILLIAM WAGNER, CLERK; 7140 S. OCEANA DR​., ​ROTHBURY, MI 49452; 231-893-6336.

GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP HALL: CORA CONLEY, CLERK; 5589 S. 200TH AVE., HESPERIA, MI 49421; 231-854-0202.

HART TOWNSHIP HALL: TIM TARISKE, CLERK; 3437 W. POLK RD., HART, MI 49420; 231-873-2734. ​ ​

LEAVITT TOWNSHIP HALL: NAOMI OOMEN, CLERK; 2401 N. 184TH AVE​., WALKERVILLE, MI 49459; 231-873-3537.

NEWFIELD TOWNSHIP HALL: NANCY CONLEY, CLERK; 3890 S. 198TH AVE., HESPERIA, MI 49421; 231-854-4702.
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OTTO TOWNSHIP HALL; PATRICIA BUDDE, CLERK, 5458 S. 128TH AVE., ROTHBURY, MI 49452, 231-861-7098. ​ ​

PENTWATER TOWNSHIP HALL; SUE JOHNSON, CLERK; 327 HANCOCK ST., PENTWATER, MI 49449, 231-869-6231.

SHELBY TOWNSHIP HALL: MARILYN GLOVER, CLERK; 204 N. MICHIGAN AVE., SHELBY, MI 49455; NEW ERA REFORMED CHURCH; 4775 S. FIRST ST​​., NEW ERA, MI 49446; 231-861-5853 OR 2501. ​ ​ ​ ​​
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WEARE TOWNSHIP HALL: ​ANGELA AERTS, CLERK; 6506 N. OCEANA DR​​​., HART, MI 49420; 231-873-0144.

CITY OF HART HALL: CHERYL RABE, CLERK; 407 STATE ST., HART, MI 49420​; 231-873-2488.
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