2018-07-08 / Editorial

Don’t miss opportunity to cast vote Aug. 7

Tuesday, Aug. 7 is Primary Election Day in Lapeer County and across Michigan. In Lapeer County there are plenty of reasons to go to the polls, but in order to fulfill your civic responsibility to cast a vote for either a ballot proposal or a candidate you must first be registered to vote.

With just over a month to go before the election, the deadline to register to vote in this important election is Monday.

To register to vote in Michigan, you must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the state, and a resident of the city or township where you are registering. You must be 18 to vote, but if you are currently 17 and your birthday is before Election Day, you can still register.

Individuals can register in person at local clerk’s offices (village, city, county or township) or the Secretary of State branch location on Genesee Street in Lapeer.

Voters who qualify may also choose to cast an absentee ballot. As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee ballot if you are age 60 or older; physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another; expecting to be absent from the community in which you are registered for the entire time the polls will be open on Election Day; in jail awaiting arraignment or trial; unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons or will be working as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence. Applications for an absentee ballot should be submitted to the voter’s local clerk.

Voters with absentee ballots are encouraged to put those ballots in the mail by Tuesday, July 31 to ensure timely delivery. Those who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, Aug. 6, must fill out the ballot in the clerk’s office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.

Aug. 7 is an important election in Lapeer County. Among the candidate challenges is a heated Republican primary race between former state representative Kevin Daley and state Rep. Gary Glenn of Bay County. The 31st District seat is currently held by Republican Mike Green, who is term-limited. The district comprises Lapeer, Tuscola and Bay counties.

In North Branch Township, there will also be a primary election race between Republican candidates Robert DeTavernier and Gary Swoish for supervisor.

Residents will miss an opportunity to make a difference if not registered to vote to decide the fate of numerous ballot proposals — depending where one lives. On a county-wide basis, a renewal for senior citizen services is on the ballot.

For residents who live within the sprawling Lapeer District Library service area, voters on Aug. 7 will be asked to approve a 15-year millage to build a new central library to replace the aging and land-locked Marguerite deAngeli Branch. Residents served by the Imlay City Fire Dept. will be asked to support a bond proposal to construct a new fire hall.

North Branch Township voters will be asked to renew a library millage, while in Deerfield Township voters will face a question of whether to fund their Emergency Medical First Responders for five years.

Residents who live within the Lapeer Community Schools district will be asked to renew an operating budget for the county’s largest school district. The Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library will ask voters for a renewal and an increase to keep the library system operating.

In Attica Township, voters will be asked to renew two millages to provide funding for police and fire protection for the next 20 years.

Every community in Lapeer County will have an election on Aug. 7. You have an opportunity to make your voice heard on local and state leadership, but you must be registered first. One of the freedoms just celebrated by the Fourth of July is the ability afforded to us freely express one’s opinion in this country, and there’s no greater power than that embodied when you cast a vote on Election Day.

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