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Dearborn Clerk Urges Voters to Cast Absentee Ballots This Election

A presidential election, combined with an extraordinary long ballot in Wayne County, will mean long lines at the polls this Election Day in Dearborn.

Planning to vote Nov. 6? You may want to bring a snack, or a novel.

Dearborn City Clerk Kathleen Buda said voters should prepare for the longest ballot she’s seen in her 15 years in office.

“It’s a two-page ballot, both sides,” she said. “So the lines will be long.”

The ballot this Election Day will include a presidential election, elections for the offices of state representative, U.S. representative, U.S. senator, and a number of local offices—including, in Dearborn, the Board of Education and 19th District Court. There will also be five statewide ballot proposals, as well as five proposed Wayne County Charter amendments.

As such, the clerk’s office is encouraging anyone who is eligible to vote absentee.

According to Deputy Clerk Lola Isiminger, that includes:

  • Residents 60 years of age or older
  • Those who are physically unable to attend the polls
  • Any appointed precinct worker serving in a precinct other than their own
  • Anyone with a religious exemption
  • Residents who will be confined to jail on Election Day
  • Anyone expecting to be absent from their community on Election Day

In Dearborn, absentee voting is already a common practice. Isiminger said that 2008 was the highest amount of absentee ballots she has seen in her more-than 20 years of service.

For the 2008 Presidential Election, Dearborn had 60,633 registered voters—42,206 of whom turned out to vote. Of those, 8,575—or 20.3 percent—were absentee voters.

Buda said that the majority of absentee ballots that were already confirmed were sent out Oct. 5. For anyone else looking to vote absentee who has not already applied, forms are available at the Dearborn City Clerk’s office, which is located at Dearborn City Hall, at 13615 Michigan Ave.

Hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as the Saturday before Election Day.

Registered voters can also download absentee voting forms online on the City of Dearborn website.

Application forms must be turned in to the Dearborn City Clerk in person or by mail. The last day the clerk’s office can grant mail or in-person requests for absentee ballots is Nov. 3.

Absentee ballots can be turned in until the polls close on Election Day—8 p.m. Nov. 6.

Isiminger said the clerk’s office is planning to have 3-4 election workers at each of Dearborn’s 50 precincts, and that the process of checking in will be sped up by the use of laptops.

“The biggest time is what it will take to fill out the ballot,” she said.

Donna Hay October 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Ms Buda was remarking at the council meeting that she had a couple of people in her office that were filling out the absentee ballots and it took them an hour. Now that's a big turnoff for voters to hear.
Carla O'Neill October 12, 2012 at 03:26 PM
The link to download the absentee voting forms is not working.
John Hetzler October 12, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Carla, here's the correct link: http://www.cityofdearborn.org/government/city-clerk/online-forms We've also updated the story. Thanks for pointing it out.

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