Election officials prepare for presidential primary, have final reminders for voters

Published: Mar. 9, 2020 at 4:18 PM EDT
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Upper Michigan election officials are gearing up for a busy Tuesday with the 2020 presidential primary.

With just hours until voting starts, county and municipal clerks are finishing preparations before voters make their way to the polls. Marquette city and county clerks say, they plan on being on schedule with counting and posting results.

"I'm hoping for a smooth election,” said Kris Hazeres, Marquette City Clerk. “We're going in, just like any other election, all ready to go."

In most municipalities, the presidential primary is the only thing on the ballot. With Michigan’s closed primary system you can only vote on either a Democrat or Republican ballot.

"What we do is, we have two ballot styles, and you're picking what ballot you want,” said Linda Talsma, Marquette County Clerk. “You're not registering to be in that party, you're just picking a ballot style, so please remember that."

With no excuse absentee ballot voting, the state of Michigan has seen an uptick in the amount of early voters; that trend has not made its way to the Upper Peninsula however.

"It's pretty much average for a presidential primary," said Hazeres.

With a number of candidates dropping out in the past two weeks, many early voters have decided revote with a new selection. Voters need to be aware, too, that those candidates who have dropped out, are still listed on the ballot.

“The precinct inspectors cannot tell the voter who is still on the ballot, even though all the names will be listed,” said Talsma. “So it's up to the voter to do their homework and make sure that they know who they're voting for tomorrow."

Monday was the deadline to turn in your original absentee ballots, or to spoil your absentee ballot and recast one. However there still is time to register to vote, just head into your city, township, or village municipal office any time on Election Day before 4:00 p.m.

"They would have to come in here and they would have to have a photo ID and they would have to be credentialed," said Hazeres.

The polls are open Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Election officials recommend you vote early and try to avoid busy lunch and dinner hours.

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