GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — At least three West Michigan cities will be keeping their doors open later to make absentee voting easier for residents.
Grand Rapids is even doing something it has never done before — opening on a Sunday.
Grand Rapids City Hall, located at 300 Monroe Avenue NW, will have extended hours on the following dates:
- Tuesday, Oct. 18: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 20: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, Oct. 25: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 27: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sunday, Oct. 30: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 1: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 5: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Kalamazoo City Clerk’s office is shifting its normal office hours on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 to the evening to support absentee voters. THe office will be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on those dates. The clerk’s office will also be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.
The Kalamazoo Township Clerk’s Office will also stay open later, welcoming absentee voters until 8 p.m. on Nov. 1 and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.
All voters who go to the polls or request an absentee ballot in person must bring a photo ID, such as a Michigan Driver’s License or Identification Card. Anyone who doesn’t have a photo ID or forgets to bring one can still vote by signing an affidavit stating that they didn’t have a photo ID.
Ballots can be requested by mail until 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Voters can get absentee ballots in person until 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7.
“I would encourage absentee voting because we can’t anticipate how long the lines will be. It’s unpredictable,” Grand Rapids City Clerk Darlene O’Neal said.
To vote absentee, voters must fall into any of the following situations:
- Older than 60 years
- Expect to absent from the community where they are registered
- Physically unable to attend the polls
- Cannot visit a poll for religious reasons
- Working as an election inspector in a precinct other than where they reside
As of Oct. 14, the city had distributed nearly 12,000 ballots. It expects to see 18,000 ballots cast absentee. According to O’Neal, in 2008 the city received 15,000 absentee ballots and 14,000 in 2012.
For more information, residents can call the City Clerk’s Office at 616.456.3010 or visit their website.