Troy City Clerk’s Office staff deliver absentee ballots upon request to residents at the front door of Troy City Hall.

Troy City Clerk’s Office staff deliver absentee ballots upon request to residents at the front door of Troy City Hall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Troy City Clerk’s Office gears up for Aug. 4 primary election

LWV offers candidate forums online

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published July 28, 2020

 Completed absentee ballots may be returned to the drop boxes located at Troy City Hall.

Completed absentee ballots may be returned to the drop boxes located at Troy City Hall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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TROY — Troy City Clerk Aileen Dickson said she and her staff are working long hours to ensure the Aug. 4 primary election runs as smoothly as possible in the midst of the pandemic.

Dickson said that for the 2016 presidential election, the Troy City Clerk’s Office tabulated a total of 15,000 ballots.

“We are getting in hundreds more applications each day,” Dickson said. “It’s pretty safe to say that we will be in the 25,000-ballots-issued range by election day.”

At the July 13 Troy City Council meeting, Dickson told the Troy City Council that 18,123 absentee ballots had been issued.

Due to the passage of a statewide ballot proposal, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absentee voter ballot without providing a reason.

Also, people may change their mind and vote in person if they do request an absentee ballot, according to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Requests may be returned by hand, via postal mail, fax or email, as long as a signature is visible, according to michigan.gov/sos.

Requests to have an absentee voter ballot mailed must be received by the clerk no later than 5 p.m. the Friday before the election, the website states.

“If you’re already registered at your current address, you can request an absent(ee) voter ballot in person at your clerk’s office anytime up to 4 p.m. on the day prior to the election. If you’re registering to vote or updating your address by appearing at your clerk’s office on election day, you can request an absentee voter ballot at the same time you register. If you request your absentee voter ballot the day before the election or on election day, you must vote the ballot in the clerk’s office,” according to the website.

“If a voter has already voted absentee and wishes to change their vote (because the candidate has dropped out of the race, or for any other reason), a voter can spoil their ballot by submitting a written request to their city or township clerk.

“The voter must sign the request and state if they would like a new absentee ballot mailed to them or if they will vote at the polls. This request must be received by 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election if received by mail.

“An absentee ballot may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 4 p.m. the Monday prior to the election. The voter can obtain a new absentee ballot there or vote at the polls,” the website states.

However, there is no option on Election Day to spoil an absentee ballot that has been received by the clerk.

Dickson said the state and Oakland County have sent additional supplies for crowd control (signage and floor decals) and personal protection equipment for election workers in all 31 precincts.

The city of Troy has purchased high-speed letter openers and ballot counters for all precincts.

In addition, the Troy City Clerk’s Office will pursue any additional funding being offered to help with the election in the midst of the pandemic.

Cindy Stewart, the director of community affairs for the city of Troy, said that residents have reported receiving text messages and emails with unknown links offering to provide assistance on requesting absentee ballots.

Dickson said not to click on links from unknown sources and asked anyone with a question on a text regarding election assistance, voting or the election to send an email to elections@troymi.gov or call (248) 524-3316.

The League of Women Voters, Troy area, taped five candidate forums at Community Media Network studios the week of June 29.

According to a press release, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the forums were filmed with no audience. However, the league used questions submitted beforehand by the public.

The following races were filmed:

• State Representative District 41

• County Commissioners Districts 11, 16 and 20

• Troy City Council

To view these candidate forums, look for “CMNtv Politics 2020” on cmntv.org

A printed voter guide for these five elections can be downloaded from lwvtroyarea.org or look for www.VOTE411.org for candidate information.


What to expect on your August primary ballot

Voters in Troy can expect to see a number of national, state, county and local races on their upcoming Aug. 4 primary ballot.

In addition to state and national offices, voters will decide on a new City Council member, choosing between David Carl Anderson and Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga for a term ending Nov. 08, 2021. The Troy City Council appointed Chamberlain-Creanga to serve a 5 1/2-month term Feb. 24. The term was made vacant when Councilman Ed Pennington resigned Jan. 13. For a complete coverage of the council seat, visit the Troy page at www.candgnews.com and search for “Troy City Council seat.”

 

County races
For the county’s highest elected office, county executive, Democratic incumbent David Coulter is facing off against current county Treasurer Andy Meisner. On the Republican side, Mike Kowall faces Jeffrey G. Nutt.

Voters will decide who will be on the November ballot to run for county prosecuting attorney. Democratic incumbent Jessica R. Cooper is challenged by Karen McDonald. Republican Lin Goetz is unopposed.

Vincent Gregory, Barnett Jones and Randy Maloney are vying for the Democratic nomination for county sheriff. Republican incumbent Michael J. Bouchard is running unopposed.

Democratic incumbent Oakland County Clerk and Register of Deeds Lisa Brown is unopposed for her spot. Republicans Tina Barton and Patrick R. Wilson are vying to challenge her in November.

Democratic candidates for county treasurer are Robert J. Corbett Jr. and Robert Wittenberg. Susan E. Anderson faces Joe Kent on the Republican side.

Republicans Robert E. Buxbaum, Steven L. Johnson and Jim Stevens are vying to face Farmington Hills Democrat Jim Nash to serve as the county’s water resources commissioner.

 

Filling out your ballot properly
Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown wants to remind voters of a few important tips to ensure their votes are cast and counted properly.

“My big issue right now is that everybody fills out their ballot correctly … because in August we have more spoiled ballots than any other election,” she said. “It breaks my heart to know somebody has taken the time to fill out their ballot, but because they didn’t do it correctly, now their votes don’t count.”

Brown said voters need to make sure they’re using blue or black ink pens and that they’re filling in the box next to the candidate they’re voting for completely.

“I can’t tell you the things I’ve seen — arrows pointing, the names circle, all sorts of things. We want to make sure voters are filling in that box, not using a check or an ‘X,’” she said.

Brown also reminds voters that they can’t cross party lines when voting for candidates. Crossing party lines will spoil a voter’s ballot. Voters should remember to turn their ballot over for more races on the back, as well as remember to vote in the non-partisan section.

Those who choose to vote absentee this year need to make sure they sign the outer envelope before returning their ballot, Brown said.

“If that signature is missing, then we have a problem. Hopefully, their local clerk will contact them and try to get them to remedy the situation, but if they can’t then that ballot isn’t going to be counted,” she said.

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