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Record Numbers Expected At Polls



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October 29, 2008
TRI-CITY AREA — Voter registration numbers hit a record across the state as the October 6 deadline passed for the November 4 general election.

In Lapeer County, 65,412 people registered by the October deadline, with 121,679 voters signed up in St. Clair County.

Statewide, 98 percent of eligible voters have registered to vote, says Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

"I'm pleased that so many people have registered to vote," Land says in a press release. "It's the first step in participating in the democratic process.This is an important election, with many local and national races being decided. Please take time to vote."

This year's voter registration numbers top those of the 2004 presidential election, where 7.16 million Michiganders registered to vote in the presidential election.

Land says early statistics indicate that 47 percent of registered voters are male, while 53 percent are female.

As with the primary election in August, voters will be required to present photo ID at the polls, such as a Michigan driver's license or state identification card.

Alternative IDs include any of the following, as long as they are current:

·Driver's license or personal identification card issued by another state;

·Federal or state government-issued photo identification

·U.S. passport;

·Military identification card with photo;

·Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, such as a college or university;

·Tribal identification card with photo.

Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or who fails to bring it with them to the polls will be required to sign a brief affidavit stating that they're not in possession of a photo ID in order to vote. Their ballots will be included with all others and counted on election day.

More information is available at the the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.Michigan.gov/vote for information on absentee ballots and Michigan's voter identification law.

Local information

Election Day appears it will shape up to be a busy one. Following are some things voters need to keep in mind come November 4.

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Nancy Stoutenburg of Imlay Township casts ballot in primary election. photo by Maria Brown.
The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. As long as you're in line by 8 p.m., you can still vote after the polls officially close. Those who want an absentee voter ballot by mail must apply by Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. Those deemed qualified have until Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. to vote in person in the clerk's office.

Voters dealing with an emergency situation—such as a sudden illness or family death on election day may request an emergency absentee voter ballot. Emergency ballot requests must be submitted after the Nov. 3 deadline but before 4 p.m. on Nov. 4. The emergency has to have occurred at a time that made applying for a regular absentee ballot impossible. Local clerks have more information about emergency absentee voter ballots.

Emergency absentee voting will be allowed until 4 p.m. on Nov. 4.

Voters in the village and township of Almont will head to a new polling location for the first time on Tuesday—the Almont Elementary School gymnasium.

Other polling places for respective residents include Imlay City Hall, Imlay Township Hall, Mussey Township Fire Hall (Capac and Mussey Twp. residents), Berlin Township Senior Center, Attica Township Hall, Goodland Township Hall, and Dryden Township Hall.

What you

won't see

Campaign material, signs or posters. Candidates are prohibited by Michigan law from campaigning within 100 feet of any entrance to polling places at township halls.

Off limits on township property are materials advocating for or against a candidate or ballot issue. Vehicles with campaign signs on them may be parked in the parking lots but only for the period of time it takes the vehicle owner to vote. Vehicles with campaign signs posted on them are prohibited by law from being parked on township property for any other length of time.

According to state law, townships do have a right to regulate materials outside of the 100-foot limit as long as a policy is adopted and applied equally and consistently.

Individual townships may also decide through the adoption of a policy not to "police" election related materials on township property because officials and poll workers are too busy handling the election. At the same time, a township board could choose to allow a specific location for unattended campaign materials on township property on election day.

For more information regarding election day policies and procedures, polling places and other requirements visit the Web site www.michigan.gov/sos.

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