Peninsula Township 2020 Elections
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In case you haven’t heard, it’s an election year. Yes, that’s my clunky attempt at humor, because if you’re on Facebook or Twitter or if you watch any snippet of news any time of day or night, we’re reminded that it is indeed an election year. Here’s a roundup of information about the upcoming elections in Peninsula Township. Specifically, the March 10, 2020 Presidential Primary Election.

Peninsula Township 2020 Election Dates

  • March 10, 2020 – Presidential Primary (vote for a Presidential candidate)
  • August 4, 2020 – State Primary (vote for legislative candidates)
  • November 3, 2020 – General Election (vote for Presidential and legislative candidates, as well as local issues)

On each of these days, the polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

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What’s the March 10 Election All About?

In the Presidential Primary Election on March 10, 2020, we’ll be voting for the person we believe should move on to be the candidate for President of the United States. The winners of this election will be listed on the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election ballot. In Michigan, you do not need to be a registered Republican or Democrat to vote.

Eighteen states will vote before Michigan gets to weigh in on the Presidential hopefuls. Because of that, the field of candidates might be pared down by the time we get to vote in Peninsula Township. At this writing, here are the candidates on the Peninsula Township ballot and their status:

  • Democrats: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Tulsi Gabbard.
  • Democrats still on the ballot but no longer in the race: Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney, Joe Sestak, Cory Booker, Michael Bennet, Julian Castro, Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson.
  • Republicans: Donald Trump and Bill Weld.
  • Republicans still on the ballot, but no longer in the race: Mark Sanford and Joe Walsh.

Check out a sample ballot for the March 10 Presidential Primary Election here.

A Few Facts About the March 10 Election

No election-related material may be worn or displayed within 100 feet of an entrance to a polling place. This includes clothing and buttons, as well as materials such as pamphlets, fliers and stickers. If you go to the polls with a shirt or button bearing election-related images or slogans, you will be asked to cover or remove it.

You may take photos at a polling place, but only under very strict guidelines. On May 8, 2019, the Secretary of State settled a federal lawsuit challenging Michigan’s restrictions on ballot photography, sometimes known as “ballot selfies.” Voters are now allowed to take a photo of their own ballot, but ONLY while in the voting booth.

Yes, absentee ballots are always counted – on election day along with all ballots voted at the polls. Absentee ballots simply give voters another option for voting.

Where Do You Vote in Peninsula Township?

In Peninsula Township, we have two precincts. Voters in Precinct 1 will vote at the Peninsula Township Hall, 13235 Center Road on the Old Mission Peninsula.

Voters who live in Precinct 2 will vote at First Congregational Church, 6105 Center Road (on the left just past “The Forks” – intersection of Peninsula Drive and Center Road). Note that Precinct 2 voters NO LONGER vote at Peninsula Fire Station 2, as they have in decades past.

If you have any questions about which precinct you live in and where you should vote, contact the Clerk’s office at the Peninsula Township offices, (231) 223-7321, or email [email protected]. Also contact them if you have questions about registering to vote, absentee voting, or anything related to voting.

How to Register to Vote in Peninsula Township

You must be a registered voter to participate in the upcoming elections this year. If you need to register or update your address after moving, here are your options:

You may register to vote in person at a Secretary of State branch office, at the Peninsula Township Clerk’s office, by mail, or online here. If you choose to register online, you must complete the registration no later than the 15th day prior to the election.

To register to vote online, you must have a Michigan driver’s license or Personal Identification Card (PID), and you must qualify to vote in the state of Michigan (i.e., be a citizen, be 18 years old, and be a resident).

Note to Procrastinators: You MAY register to vote during the 14 days prior to the election, including on Election Day, by applying in person at the Peninsula Township Clerk’s office. To register this way, you must show proof of residency. Accepted proof includes:

  • Michigan driver’s license or PID with current address
  • Federal or state government-issued photo identification with current address
  • U.S. passport with current address
  • Military identification card with photo and current address
  • Tribal identification card with photo and current address
  • Michigan driver’s license or PID without current address but with other proof of residency that shows the current address, such as a utility bill, a bank statement, a paycheck, a government check, or another government document

If you don’t have a picture ID but wish to register to vote, you may sign an affidavit and show proof of residency. These voters will be registered and will be allowed to vote with a challenged ballot rather than a regular ballot. If you cannot provide proof of residency, you will not be registered and will be ineligible to vote.

Can You Vote With an Absentee Ballot?

Due to the passage of the statewide ballot proposal 18-3 in November, you don’t have to give a reason to vote with an absentee ballot. Anyone who’s registered to vote may vote absentee if you so desire. You may also request to have your name placed on Peninsula Township’s permanent absentee voter list, which means you’d receive an application for a ballot before every election. When the application is returned you would be issued a ballot.

Contact the Clerk’s office at (231) 223-7321 for assistance in obtaining an Absentee Ballot, or you may access the Absentee Voter Ballot Application online here. The completed application may be dropped off, mailed, emailed, or faxed to Rebecca Chown, Peninsula Township Clerk, 13235 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686. If you fax the application, the fax number is (231) 223-7117.

Other questions? Drop them in the comments below and we’ll get answers for you.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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