In an effort to dispel any rumors or misunderstandings about absentee voting, Trenton City Clerk Trish Gearhart spoke with editor Nate Stemen to get the proper information to voters.
"Any voter can vote absentee," Gearhart said. "You do have to check a reason to vote absentee."
Gearhart added people who expect to be absent on election day can vote absentee.
"It's certainly not illegal to vote absentee," Gearhart said. "Anyone who is unsure if they will be in Trenton on election day can vote absentee."
In the 2008 election, about 35 percent, or 4,000, of the 11,131 Trenton residents who voted -- voted absentee. The year's election saw a 76 percent voter turnout in Trenton.
More than half, or 1500, of the 3,100 residents who voted in the primary voted absentee
Voting regulations can be found on the Michigan Secretary of State website.
The rules for voting absentee are as follows, according to the Michigan Votes Voter Information Center.
Absentee ballots are available for all elections. You may vote by absentee ballot if you:
- Are unable to attend the polls without assistance
- Are age 60 or older
- Expect to be absent from your city or township for the entire time the polls are open on election day
- Are in jail awaiting arraignment or trial
- Have been assigned to work as a precinct inspector in a precinct other than where you are registered
- Are unable to attend the polls because of religious beliefs
Gearhart said voters should pay close attention to the third reason for voting absentee. People whose jobs or schools require them to be out of the City of Trenton the entire time the polls are open can vote absentee, she said.
Gearhart said college students who are first-time voters and registered to vote by mail, might not be allowed to vote absentee due to voting regulations.
First time voting regulations are also available at the voter information center.
If you have never voted in Michigan and register by mail, you must appear in person to vote in the first election in which you participate. This requirement does not apply if:
- You personally hand deliver the mail-in registration form to the county, city or township clerk's office instead of mailing the form
- You are age 60 or older
- You are disabled
- You are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act
Gearhart said she anticipates about 5,000 Trenton residents will vote absentee in the November election.
Call Trenton City Clerk Trish Gearhart for more information 734-675-8600.