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Trenton City Clerk: 'Anyone Who Has to Work on Election Day Should Vote Absentee'

Voting is expected to take twice as long as normal due to the addition of a second ballot, according to Trenton City Clerk Trish Gearhart.

Voters might be surprised to see, not one but, two ballots when they go to vote on election day, according to Trenton City Clerk Trish Gearhart.

The November election ballot will be on two separate ballot sheets this year and both sheets are two-sided.

Gearhart said the addition of the second ballot could double voting times, causing people waiting in long lines at the polls to simply not vote.

She encouraged Trenton residents who have to work on election day to vote absentee.

"It's going to take voters a long time to vote this ballot and, if you have the day off go to the polling place, but if you have to work, have appointments or any other commitments, you should vote absentee," Gearhart said.

The second ballot was added due to the lack of space on a single card.

"It wouldn't all fit on a ballot so they added another," Gearhart said.

Leah Derby September 21, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I CANNOT believe the City Clerk made the request that voters "vote absentee" if they have appointments or other commitments such as work. There are very strict guidelines for requesting an absentee ballot. They are: As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee voter ballot if you are: age 60 years old or older, unable to vote without assistance at the polls, expecting to be out of town on election day, in jail awaiting arraignment or trial, unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons or are appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence. THAT'S IT!
Leah Derby September 22, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Nothing? The City Clerk hasn't retracted that request, yet? I didn't make those rules up...
Sophie Radakovich October 03, 2012 at 04:38 AM
I believe the rules have changed. Anyone can ask for an absentee ballot. There doesn't have to be a specific reason. Let me know if I am wrong!
Leah Derby October 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM
i believe you're wrong. but if you're over 60 you don't need a specific reason to vote absentee.
Leah Derby October 03, 2012 at 03:57 PM
You may vote by absentee ballot if: you are 60 years old or older you are unable to vote without assistance at the polls you are expecting to be out of town on election day you are in jail awaiting arraignment or trial you are unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons you are appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence. First-time Michigan voters who register by mail MUST vote in person the first time they vote. This restriction does not apply to overseas voters, voters who are handicapped or voters who are 60 years of age or older. You can, however, get around this rule by requesting your absentee ballot in person from your County Clerk. You have until the day before the election to request your absentee ballot in person. Our Michigan Absentee Voter Guide has everything you need to get your absentee ballot.
Les October 03, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Thanks Leah ---well done job! It makes you wonder about City Clerks who do not know the laws - or do they have some hidden political agendas? It is a misdemeanor to lie on an absentee voter application. That warning is clearly printed right on the application, after it names the circumstances - only six of them - that are legal grounds for voting absentee. Is the City Clerk encouraging those who apply to break the law? I wonder how many applicants will be prosecuted? Maybe the Mayor should ask for her resignation!
Les October 03, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Read an absentee voter ballot application ---- six reasons only for obtaining an absentee voter ballot - and none of them are those ones suggested by the City Clerk!
Leah Derby October 05, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I am surprised not to see a response from the City Clerk. I am surprised that more people haven't expressed concern about this. If the City Clerk is playing fast and loose about this section of the election laws, who's to say she's running a fair, non-biased election across the board? She should have made available an image of the ballot that people can look at and become comfortable with the idea of voting right here on the patch instead of encouraging folks to break the law and vote absentee because "they have errands to run"
Les October 05, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I guess the City Clerk must be part of the entitlement society ---- feeling that she can do anything she wants without respecting the laws and constitution! Wake up Clerk! It is time she becomes accountable to the citizens of Trenton, and not to the political machine that encourages her.
Nate Stemen (Editor) October 05, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Here's some information that might offer some additional insight into absentee voting. Click the link: http://trenton-grosseile.patch.com/articles/trenton-city-clerk-any-voter-can-vote-absentee
Les October 05, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Nate ---- the information was already posted ---- and it does not include people who want to run errands, and claim they will be working that day. Remember the polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. It is no rumor ---- it is the law of the State of Michigan!

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