City officials prepare for election day


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– City offices in Michigan were hard at work today getting ready for a surge of voters.

“We have our 17 precincts that we have to prepare for,” East Lansing City Clerk Jennifer Shuster says. “We have been training hundreds of election inspectors to work on election day, also getting those ballots ready, processing absentee voters and getting all of that done for the election.”

Clerks say they don’t expect as many people to vote in person this year. A ballot item from the 2018 midterm elections made it easier to vote from home.

“With the passage of Proposal 3 everybody can now vote by absentee ballot, and we’ve done a lot to encourage that,” says Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope. “We sent a citywide mailing to people who weren’t on our automatic application mailing list to invite them to be on that, and we’ve added several thousand people to that list.”

Swope says they’ve sent out more than 11,000 absentee ballots ahead of this year’s election. And it’s not just about getting people to the polls; it’s about making sure people know about the candidates and proposals before they vote.

“It’s really about just kind of supplying voters with all the information they need for election day,” Jackson city official Aaron Dimick says, “and that includes just information on our website, like what identification you’re gonna need at the polls and what’s on the ballot.”

Officials say voters are staying engaged in their local races, based on the early numbers.

“Since it’s an off year without the mayor or the governor or the president on the ballot,” Swope says, “it’s an election that kind of usually slips by a little bit more. so we’ve got more people interested.”

Many of the clerks say once tomorrow’s elections are over, they plan to reevaluate their strategies and see what works best or needs improvement before the race for 2020.

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