With all the other news going on this year – pandemic! protests! murder hornets! – it seems like we haven’t been inundated with as much election news during this election year. But yes, the August Primary is right around the corner. Two days from now, as a matter of fact.
As of late June 2020, Peninsula Township had a total of 5521 registered voters, with 2617 on the permanent absentee voter list.
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The March 2020 Presidential Primary saw 450 voters cast their vote at Precinct 1, 420 voters at Precinct 2, and 1730 votings via absentee ballot. That’s a total of 47 percent of our registered voters in Peninsula Township. By comparison, 52 percent voted in the 2016 Presidential Primary in March 2016.
Let’s take a look at some voting basics ahead of Tuesday’s election…
Absentee ballot applications. These have been sent to every registered voter in Peninsula Township, and these applications apply to both the August 4 State Primary and the November 3 General Election. I believe you can still return your application before Tuesday’s election and vote via absentee ballot. Contact the Peninsula Township Clerk’s office for more info on that, [email protected], or (231) 223-7321.
You can return your absentee ballot on election day. If you do so, put it in the after-hours drop box outside of the Peninsula Township offices, 13235 Center Road. That drop box will be checked periodically throughout the day, and ballots will be collected for the final time at 8 p.m. that day. Do not drop them at your precinct.
Will absentee ballots be counted? Although concerns are regularly raised about the integrity of voting via absentee ballot, the Peninsula Township Clerk’s office assures us that voting this way is simple and secure. And in these current times, it also means you don’t have to worry about contracting the Covid-19 virus in order to vote. Absentee ballots will be counted at St. Joseph Catholic Church by two absentee voter counting boards, one for each precinct in Peninsula Township. They do not expect delays in the results on election day. If you have any concerns, contact the Clerk’s office.
You can “spoil” your absentee ballot. If you change your mind, you can be issued a new absentee ballot up until 4 p.m. the day before the election (Monday). Contact the Clerk’s office for more info.
You can still vote in person. Both Peninsula Township precincts will be open on Tuesday, although they will be minimally staffed due to Covid-19 concerns. Be sure and wear a mask and bring a black pen if you plan to vote at your precinct on Tuesday. Social distancing protocols will be in place at both precincts.
Where do you vote? If you live in Precinct 1, you vote at the Peninsula Township Hall, 13235 Center Road. If you live in Precinct 2, you vote at First Congregational Church, 6105 Center Road. If you’re not sure which precinct you live in, contact the clerk’s office.
This election is an “Open” Primary. That means that while you are not asked to select a political party, you must still decide which party to vote for. You cannot vote “split ticket,” meaning you must vote for only one party on the ballot. If you “split” your votes, the entire partisen section of the ballot will be void. (Note that for the November General Election, you may split your ticket.)
You can still register to vote. You can even do it ON election day, but if that’s the case, you must register to vote at the Township Clerk’s office.
What are the precinct hours on election day? On Tuesday, both Peninsula Township precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
What’s on the ballot? To see your sample ballot, click over to the Secretary of State’s website and fill in the election, along with your county, jurisdiction and precinct info. Then click “View Ballot” at the bottom, and it will take you to your sample ballot.
Other questions? Contact the Peninsula Township Clerk’s office, [email protected], or (231) 223-7321.
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 like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like 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 of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my 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 Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb