Following voter approval in November 2018 of Proposal 3, known as Promote the Vote, which allows for no reason absentee voting, same-day voter registration and straight party voting, some local community clerk's websites have not been accurately updated to reflect the changes and opportunities for voters.
Residents in Birmingham and Bloomfield Township are being asked to go to the polls on August 6 to vote for ballot issues in their communities, and while Bloomfield Township's website has been updated to reflect most of the changes mandated in the constitutional amendment, there are a few omissions, said Erica Peresman, voter protection director for Michigan Democratic Party who was a member of the executive committee for Promote the Vote.
She noted that the clerk's page, under the tab “Voting,” on the Bloomfield Township website was largely accurate, but it does not state that “On election day, you can still go to the clerk's office and register to vote until 8 p.m. Then you have two choices – you can vote absentee right there, or take your registration in hand and go to your polling precinct.”
It correctly notes that registered voters can request an absentee ballot until 4 p.m. the Monday prior to election day at the clerk's office. “The only people who can vote at the clerk's office on Election Day are people who are registering to vote that day,” she said.
A major issue is that the main clerk's page has not been updated with any of the new voting information – the first place voters head for information. “Just because it's right in one place – it needs to be accurate in all places.”
The Birmingham city clerk's web page has also been updated, but should state that “Starting 45 days before an election you may request and receive an absentee ballot in person or by mail, as well as in person on the Saturday prior to the election and on the Monday prior to the election.”
While Bloomfield Hills does not have an election until November, when all five city commission seats are up (as are four Birmingham commission seats), there is no updated voting information on the city's website.
Peresman said that the adoption of Proposal 3 provided residents more voting choices, from early voting at home via absentee ballots, voting early at the clerk's office, or voting at the precinct on election day.