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Marquette Opens the Polls

Polling places across the state opened at 7:00 a.m. this morning and will close at 8:00 p.m. this evening.
Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 11:28 AM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Today may see one of the highest voter turnouts in American history for over a century — so how are U.P. polling places preparing?

Well, the Marquette City Hall, which acts as a polling place for three separate precincts, seems to be a good model to go off of. Poll workers were in as early as six in the morning, getting ballots ready, sanitizing tables, and taking the Oath of Election Commissioners and Poll Clerks, all in anticipation of what’s sure to be one of the busiest days of the year.

And busy it began — Marquette residents were already lining up ten minutes before the polls officially opened at seven this morning. Many were talking idly with each other or poll workers, and there was a clear nervous, but excited, energy in the air.

For those unaware, a few Michigan voting guidelines, some special for this year:

-If you still have an absentee or mail-in ballot and would like to drop it off, there’s a bin outside the City Hall near the Baraga Street entrance specifically for drop-offs. If you’ve changed your mind entirely, all you have to do is come into the polling place and tell a clerk you’d like to surrender your ballot. They’ll have you sign an affidavit, rendering it effectively invalid, and you’ll be allowed to vote right then and there in-person.

-Remember, for voting in-person in Michigan, you don’t need a photo I.D. — it’s recommended that you have one, just in case, but if you don’t, the poll workers will have you sign an affidavit and you’ll be good to go.

-Finally, most, if not all, polling places are observing coronavirus guidelines throughout the day. This means wearing a mask will be required, and social distancing will be enforced. Many polling places will have sanitation equipment — such as disinfectant and anti-bacterial wipes — on-hand, and poll workers will be actively cleaning the polling places throughout the day.

Kyle Whitney, the Marquette City Clerk, is one of the people at the head of the storm. He says he’s been impressed with all the new polling place volunteers who have come out for the election, especially those tabulating the absentee ballots, which numbered 6,600 — almost half of the total registered voters in the city of Marquette.

“The lead-up to November has been fantastic — we got dozens and dozens of new applications from people looking to work on election day, help us out, so that’s been fantastic. We’ve got a lot of new blood in the precincts hopefully getting interested in elections.”

You can find more on voting guidelines at the Marquette City Hall website here, or at the Michigan voting website here.

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