Voters should now hand-deliver ballots, Sec. of State says

Orion Twp. has a ballot drop box curbside, Saturday date for voter registration, voting

By Jim Newell

Review Editor

The Nov. 3 general election is just under two weeks away and the Michigan secretary of state is now telling voters they should take their absentee ballots to their clerk’s office instead of putting them in their box.

Luckily for Orion Township and Village of Lake Orion residents, there is a ballot drop box right outside of Orion Township Hall, 2525 Joslyn Rd., on the west side of the building (facing the road).

Voters can drive up and drop off their completed ballots without having to go into township hall, Clerk Penny Shults said, adding there is another drop box inside the hall outside of the clerk’s office for those who come in to vote at the clerk’s office in-person.

The Orion Township clerk’s office will also be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 31 and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 3, election day, for people to register to vote. Proof of residency is required. The clerk’s office is regularly open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

After Oct. 19, anyone who wants to register to vote must do so in-person.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson urged absentee voters to hand-deliver ballots to their local election clerk’s offices or ballot drop boxes to avoid postal delays.

“Only the absentee ballots received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 can be counted, and voters should not risk possible postal delays this close to the deadline,” said Benson. “Voters who already have their absentee ballot should hand-deliver it to their city or township election clerk’s office or ballot drop box. Voters who still plan to request an absentee ballot should visit their clerk’s office to make the request in person, and fill out and submit the ballot all in one trip.”

As of Monday, Oct. 19, more than 1.5 million Michigan citizens had already cast absentee ballots, and nearly 3 million citizens had requested them

Benson, the state’s top election officer, made the remarks to media during a conference on Tuesday.

All of Orion’s 15 polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 3, Shults said. There will be safety measures in place, such as plastic shields between election inspectors and voters, sanitizer, extra pens and other measures. Voters are reminded to wear a face covering while voting.

Through Nov. 2, registered voters may request absentee ballots and submit them early at their local clerk’s offices. Eligible citizens can register to vote at their local clerk’s offices through Nov. 3. They will need to bring proof of residency to register, and they can also vote an absentee ballot early at the clerk’s office in the same visit, Benson said.

Voters can find their clerk office and ballot drop box locations at Michigan.gov/Vote. At the same site they can also track their absentee ballot to ensure it was received.

For more information, visit oriontownship.org and click on the elections tab or call the clerks’ office at 248-391-0304 ext. 4001.

No open carry of firearms at the polls

On Oct. 16, to prevent voter intimidation, Secretary of State Jocelyn issued a directive clarifying that the open carry of firearms is not permitted in or within 100 feet of voting locations on election day.

“The right to vote is one of our most – if not the most – fundamental and sacred constitutional rights we hold as American citizens. The United State Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized its preeminence in well-established case law and legal opinions,” said Benson. “As Michigan’s Chief Election Officer, it is my duty and responsibility to protect from threat, suppression and intimidation every citizen’s right to vote.”

 

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