Clerk report shows big election changes coming
By Dana Casadei
Bloomfield Township Clerk Martin Brook presented 2022’s facts and figures at the board of trustees meeting on March 27.
While the report itself focused on election ballots cast by type, public meetings administered and resident services provided, Brook’s presentation primarily focused on the latter, with a key interest in travel and voting.
The 2022 report showed that passport applications were up to 1,277 for the year, considerably higher than 2020, when there were only 569 applications, a clear result from COVID-19 travel restrictions.
And like many election years prior to 2022, voter registration was reported up, totaling 3,147 people.
Upcoming elections for 2024 and beyond were a large portion of Brook’s presentation, revolving around future elections and how the township must become compliant with the changes recently made to the Michigan Constitution.
Due to the passing of Proposal 2 in the 2022 election, one state-funded drop box is required for every 15,000 registered voters. Because of this, Bloomfield Township will be partnering with the Bloomfield Hills School district to add an additional drive-up drop box – which will be under video surveillance – at Eastover Elementary School. The township currently has two drop boxes that are widely used. Brook hopes this third drop box will be operational by the summer.
Another result of Proposal 2 is there will be nine days of early voting required for each statewide and federal election. The draft law allows municipalities to host, partner with neighboring municipalities, or partner with the county. Bloomfield Township intends to host its own early voting for every election starting in 2024, so they can provide this service directly to residents.
The last upcoming change revolved around automatic absentee ballot lists. From a single request, voters will receive a ballot for each election. This draft law will allow these ballots to be eligible to be voted in any method: absentee, early voting and precincts. Currently, Bloomfield Township has 18,000 people on their absentee ballot list.
Brook also announced he had recently been appointed to the Secretary of State Clerk Advisory Group, a huge opportunity for him to provide feedback on election policy and procedures. Brook said he was happy to be able to express what’s best for the township at the state level.
The facts and figures report began in 2020 in an effort to be more transparent to township residents as to what is happening in the department.