Grosse Pointe Shores consolidates 2 voting precincts

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 24, 2024

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — In preparation for the start of early voting in Michigan with the presidential primary Feb. 27, Grosse Pointe Shores is consolidating a couple of its precincts.

Precincts 1 and 2 — both of which cover the majority of the Shores and constitute the portion of the city that’s in Wayne County — will be merged into a single precinct. The move will effectively eliminate Precinct 2.

The Shores City Council unanimously approved the consolidation at a meeting Dec. 12. City Clerk Bruce Nichols said the state recently approved allowing cities with precincts that have 5,000 or fewer voters to be permanently consolidated. Precincts 1 and 2 have a total of 2,470 voters, Shores officials said.

The deadline to merge the precincts was Dec. 29, 2023.

“With the new, upcoming early voting, we’ve got to streamline the process,” Nichols said.

City Manager Stephen Poloni said they’ll still need a minimum of three people to staff the early voting station at Shores City Hall.

“It’s a very labor-intensive thing,” City Councilwoman Danielle Gehlert said.

The move doesn’t impact the city’s third precinct, which covers the portion of the Shores that’s in Macomb County. That precinct, Precinct 3, will remain the way it is, Nichols said.

Nichols believes the consolidation is a plus.

“It makes it easier to tabulate, compile election results,” Nichols said. “It’s a good thing.”

By law, cities must allow early in-person voting, which starts Saturday, Feb. 17. Early voting for both Macomb and Wayne County Shores residents will take place at Shores City Hall. Voting on Election Day will take place inside Shores City Hall for Wayne County residents and inside the Schroeder Field House at Schroeder Field — which is adjacent to Shores City Hall — for Macomb County residents.

It’s not clear how many residents will take advantage of early voting. Now that no-excuse absentee voting is allowed in Michigan, more voters around the state have been filling out their ballots in advance and mailing them in or dropping them off.