By Ryan Squanda
The Lansing Star
Lansing – It’s nearing the eve of Michigan’s statewide general election on Nov. 4, but according to Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope, there’s still time for residents of Lansing to get an absentee ballot in.
“But you need to act quickly,” he said in a press release Wednesday morning.
According to the press release, in addition to being able to go into Lansing City Hall Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to complete the ballot, voters in Lansing will have expanded opportunities for walk-in voting hours at the South Washington Office Complex Election Unit throughout this week. The office, at 2500 South Washington Avenue, will stay open later on Wednesday, Oct. 29 until 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 1 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
As stipulated by the state of Michigan, there are six main reasons for why a voter may require an absentee ballot. According to the city’s website, these reasons include:
1. Being 60 years of age or older,
2. Being physically unable to attend the polls without assistance of another,
3. Being an appointed precinct worker in a precinct other than the precinct where the voter lives,
4. Expecting to be absent from the community in which the voter is registered for the entire time the polls are open on Election Day,
5. Being unable to attend the polls because of the tenets of the voter’s religion, or
6. Being unable to attend the polls because the voter is confined to jail awaiting arraignment or trial.
According to Lansing Deputy City Clerk Brian Jackson, the number one and easiest reason for why people vote absentee is if they are over the age of 60.
In addition, according to Jackson, having the two locations in town make it far easier for people in need of voting with an absentee ballot to do so.
“If people are out on town, they can just stop by and drop their ballot off,” he said.
According to the press release, the last day for absentee ballots to be mailed out is Saturday, Nov. 1, and all ballots will need to be received via mail or dropped at either the Lansing City Hall or the South Washington office location by 8 p.m. the night of the election on Nov. 4.
“My goal is to make the voting process as easy and quick as possible,” Swope said in the press release. “By having two locations, evening and weekend hours, I try to eliminate as many hurdles as allowed by Michigan law to make our elections more accessible.