Michigan has passed that all registered voters can be an absent voter (AV). Ballots are mailed to the address provided on an Absent Voter Application. Every Election needs an Absent Voter Application on file before the ballot can be sent. Most Absent Voters want to be on the Permanent Absent Voter list that the Powell Township Clerk’s Office maintains. For every upcoming election (unless there were dual AV applications available) the applications are mailed to the registered mailing address. These applications can be returned by email (once scanned with signature), mail, or dropped off at the office. If the voter decides that they would like to vote in person they do not have to return the application. It also serves as a reminder that we are indeed having an election in Powell Township.
Sometimes during elections, political parties will also mail AV applications to voters. There is nothing wrong with delivering these applications to the Powell Township Clerk’s Office but one does not have to return them, especially if you have already returned the application delivered by Township Clerk’s Office.
The Secretary of State website also has Absent voter applications to print and return to the local Township Clerk.
It’s important to know that signatures on the applications and then on the returned ballot are essential! These signatures are verified with registration and against application.
Registration to vote is easy. Most Registration is done with the DMV when your address is changed on your drivers license or when renewal of your license is done. Voters can register with the DMV up to 14 days prior to the election. At that cutoff to be able to register to vote in your jurisdiction you must come to your local Clerk to register to vote, in person or by mail up to the day of election where you will be either sent an Voter ID card in the mailing address provided or in-person. On the day of Election, proof of residency is needed for registration and ballot to count. Without proof of residency, you will be registered to vote for the next election.
Powell Township is oddly shaped and there are cases of residents that are closer to Big Bay, that have mailing addresses to Big Bay, but are in other voting jurisdictions. County Road 550 is notorious for weaving into other jurisdictions. The street index between the jurisdictions should be complete, but there are cases where voters in the same house might be registered to vote in separate jurisdictions. The Township Clerk works with the other voting jurisdictions, the Powell Township Zoning Admin, and with the Secretary of State’s Voter Registration Team to correct any discrepancies.
Powell Township has had an experienced crew to work the elections but with new concerns and changing software, we are looking for more Election Workers and Election Chairs that would like to work day of Election. These are paid positions and the Election Chair would receive a higher amount. Positions are available for the Halfway Location and the Township Hall. Training is provided by the Marquette County Clerk and supplemented by Township Clerk. Mileage to take the course is covered. The training is valid for two years as an Election Worker though it’s always encouraged to join further trainings for new knowledge.