Local clerks ready for nine additional days of voting

 

TRI-CITY AREA — A new requirement in Michigan will see election polling locations open for nine days of early voting, prior to the Tuesday, February 27 election.

For many communities, it has meant additional costs and coordination to order needed equipment and for clerks to line up additional help to man the polls for the additional hours.

As part of Proposition 2022-02, entities are required to notify each household that nine (9) days of Early Voting will be available for every registered voter.

City officials say Imlay City decided to use a vendor to send out postcards to each household in the two precincts to give notification of this availability.

The Almont school board spent hundreds of hours discussing a $58 million plan to present to Almont voters later this month.

Imlay City and Imlay Township later decided to join forces and resources, holding the early voting in one location.

Both municipalities agreed the township hall would host the nine days of early voting.

All other voting activities, including late registrations to vote and absentee voting will be done at the respective municipalities.

At a previous Imlay Township meeting, board members followed the recommendation of Clerk Carla Jepson to raise the election workers’ pay from $11 per hour to $17 per hour.

The board also approved increasing the Election Chairperson pay to $22 per hour.

Jepson said “These people work hard, and with the additional requirements, we need to do something to make it worth their time to help us. Election Day is long enough as it is. Now, we need to find help for the nine days prior to each election too.”

In an effort to pool their resources and share the need for addition help with the extra voting dates, clerks from both the township and city of Imlay City have joined forces and have the early voting at one location.

Imlay City Clerk (and Treasurer) Dawn Sawicki-Franz said they are fortunate to have great election inspectors who have acknowledged they are willing to staff some of the nine (9) days of Early Voting.

The Imlay City Election Commission met in November to approve the necessary things for Early Voting with one of those items being the election inspector rate of pay.

It was approved for $17 per hour for the nine (9) days of Early Voting and for the Election Day.

In addition, for Election Day, a per diem of $45 for the election chairperson and co-chairperson for each precinct, and receiving board members.

According to Franz, the plan for staffing is based on the eight (8) hours per day of required Early Voting availability.

The hours open for Early Voting will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This will consist of two half day shifts of 4.5 hours each, allowing for set up time and closing at the end of each of the nine (9) days of Early Voting.

The City of Imlay City has two (2) voting precincts with the railroad tracks as the dividing factor for our City. Precinct 1 is north of the railroad tracks and Precinct 2 is south of the railroad tracks.

Franz said city staff will take their voting tabulation equipment and computers to the township hall in a collaborative effort to share workers.

“Carla (Jepson) and I wanted to give this a try and see if we could make it work,” Franz said. “It’s for the early voting only, the nine days. Our regular locations will be used as normal for the other elections.”

Jurisdictions will be having elections on Tuesday, February 27, Tuesday, August 6 and Tuesday, November 5.

Voters in Imlay City not taking part in the early voting, will cast their ballots at City Hall at 150 N Main Street, Imlay City, MI 48444. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Early Voting (EV) for the City of Imlay City will be held for nine (9) days prior to each election. February’s Early Voting will be held at Imlay Township, 682 N Fairgrounds Road, Imlay City, MI 48444, beginning on Saturday, February 17 through Sunday, February 25 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Here is the ballot language for a question facing Imlay City voters only:

Imlay City Public Safety Millage: “Shall the constitutional limitation upon the total amount of taxes which may be levied on all taxable real and personal property in the City of Imlay City, Lapeer County, Michigan be increased in an amount not to exceed 2.98 mills for each one ($1.00) dollar ($2.98 for each one thousand ($1,000) of the taxable value of such property, as finally equalized), for the purpose of providing funding for public safety (police and fire operations) within the City of Imlay City? The duration of the millage shall be for a period of eight (8) years (2024 through 2031 inclusive). The estimated revenue to be collected in the first year that the millage is authorized and levied is $364,139.”

Elsewhere in the Tri-City Area: in Attica Township, officials have posted the following information on their website: Notice is hereby given by resolution of the Attica Township Board under authority granted in Public Act 81 of 2023, that the location of the early voting site for all federal and statewide election dates will be the following. A site may also serve as an early voting site for additional elections dates if approved by the Attica Township Board. Attica Township Hall 4350 Peppermill Rd. Attica, MI. 48412.

The notice went on to add, “All Qualified electors in Attica Township have the right to mark a ballot and deposit the ballot in a tabulator beginning the second Saturday before an election and ending the Sunday before the election, and any additional days prior to the second Saturday before an election that the Attica Township Board designates.” Voting will be available at the early voting site for the following hours: Saturday 02/17/24 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Sunday 2/25/24 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, registered voters in Goodland Township will cast their votes at the township hall, located at 2374 N. Van Dyke Rd. Imlay City and Imlay Township voters will cast their ballots at the township hall on N. Fairgrounds Rd. Imlay Township.

Imlay City will man their early voting booths from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. while in Goodland Township, voters can early vote on the specified days from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Almont/Almont Twp.: In this southeast Lapeer County school district, voters have a school bond issue facing them to the tune of more than $58 million.

The proposal, if successful, would mean numerous building updates at all levels as well as many other improvements to facilities district wide.

The issue of a multi-purpose building, or field house if you will, has been a hot topic and a source of much tension throughout the community.

Voters on both sides have been adamant in their stance on the facility, causing for many tension-filled conversations at local coffee shops and other gatherings.

The school board has made it clear, upgrades are badly needed at all grade levels in the Almont district, including improved HVAC systems that would provide more efficiency and air conditioning.

Voters in the Almont school district, both from the village and other communities that make up the district will vote at the building shared by the township and village on N. Main St.

Early voting opportunities in Almont will be held February 17 to 25 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Almont Bond Issue: Voters from the Almont School District will consider the question “Shall Almont Community Schools, Lapeer, St. Clair, Macomb and Oakland Counties, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Fifty-Eight Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($58,400,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of: erecting, furnishing and equipping additions to school buildings; erecting, furnishing and equipping a new multi-purpose building; remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing and equipping and re-equipping school buildings; acquiring, installing, equipping and re-equipping school buildings for instructional technology; and preparing, developing, improving and equipping playgrounds, athletic fields and sites?”

The following is for informational purposes only, regarding the Almont school proposal – The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2024, under current law, is 3.70 mills ($3.70 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a 1.00 mill net decrease over the prior year’s levy.

The maximum number of years the bonds of any series may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is twenty-two (22) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 6.27 mills ($6.27 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

The school district expects to borrow from the State School Bond Qualification and Loan Program to pay debt service on these bonds. The estimated total principal amount of that borrowing is $7,203,615 and the estimated total interest to be paid thereon is $7,431,716.

The estimated duration of the millage levy associated with that borrowing is 22 years and the estimated computed millage rate for such levy is 7.00 mills.

The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances. The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $10,845,000.

The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $0. (Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)