Residents still have time to register to vote

REED CITY — Michigan residents have until Tuesday, Oct. 11, to register to vote in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

People may register to vote or update their address at any Secretary of State office, or at their county or local clerk’s office.

Osceola County Clerk Karen Bluhm said residents must be registered 30 days prior to the election.

“We want to see people get out and vote,” she said. “It’s a very important to have your say in the decisions that are going to be made in our country, state and local levels.

“Every election is important, because it means something to someone.”

Bluhm and her staff at the clerk’s office have been working on the presidential election since August.

“For all the clerks, county or local clerks, there’s a lot of work and time that are put into an election,” she said. “We put in the same amount of time and work when 20 percent of registered voters show up, or 60 percent or 80 percent.

“My motto is I want to see everyone I can vote that day,” she said. “It’s the people’s right — the chance to have their voices be heard. The larger the turnout, the more successful. I believe in the system, in the process. I wish more people took it more seriously.”

The Secretary of State website offers Michigan voters the opportunity to view their sample ballot, find their polling location and track absentee ballots.

Registered voters can obtain an absentee ballot for the following reasons:

  • if they are 60 or older;
  • physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another person;
  • expecting to be absent from the community in which they are registered for the entire time the polls will be open on Election Day;
  • in jail awaiting arraignment or trial;
  • unable to attend polls due to religious reasons; or
  • appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.
Those who wish to receive an absentee ballot by mail must submit the application by 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.

To check your registration status or to find out more about absentee ballots, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at Michigan.gov/vote.