Northville Township Clerk Says Voters Should Prepare For Long Lines on November Election Day

The last day to register for the November election is Oct. 9.

Lines are expected to be much longer than usual at the polls on Nov. 6, said Northville Township clerk Sue Hillebrand.

Hillebrand recommends voters get familiar with what's on the two-page, double-sided ballot to get through the process more quickly on election day. The last day to register for the November election is Oct. 9.

In the Q&A below, Hillebrand offers info and tips about election day.

Q: What do voters need to bring to the polls?

Picture ID. Picture forms of acceptable ID include: 1) driver’s license or personal ID card issued by another state 2) Federal or state government issued photo ID 3) U.S. passport 4) Military ID with photo 5) Student ID with photo (high school or an accredited institution of higher education) and 6) Tribal ID with photo.

Q: What's on the ballot? 

What isn't on the ballot – just kidding! In addition to the following contests, there are 12 (yes, a dozen) proposals on this ballot:

  • President/Vice President of the United States
  • United States Senator
  • Representative in Congress – 11th District
  • Representative in Congress – 11th District – partial term ending 1/2/13
  • Representative in State Legislature – 20th District
  • Member of the State Board of Education
  • Regent of the University of Michigan
  • Trustee of Michigan State University
  • Governor of Wayne State University
  • County Prosecuting Attorney
  • County Sheriff, County Clerk, County Treasurer, County Register of Deeds
  • County Commissioner – 9th District
  • Charter Township of Northville Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer,
  • Charter Township of Northville Trustees (4)
  • Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Justice of the Supreme Court – incumbent position
  • Judge of Court of Appeals – 1st District – incumbent position
  • Judge of the Circuit Court – 3rd Circuit – incumbent position
  • Judge of the Circuit Court – 3rd Circuit – non-incumbent position
  • Judge of the Circuit Court – 3rd Circuit – incumbent position
  • Judge of the Probate Court – incumbent position
  • Judge of the District Court – 35th District – incumbent position
  • Board Members – Northville Public Schools (excludes Precinct 7)
  • Board of Trustees – Schoolcraft Community College
  • Board of Trustees – Schoolcraft Community College – partial term ending 12/31/14
  • Board Member – Northville District Library

Q: Why are there two ballots? 

Numerous contests and proposals on the ballot and school board elections/proposals have been added to the November ballot in many jurisdictions, such as Northville.

Q: Are longer lines anticipated? Should voters come early? 

YES, longer lines are anticipated and the busiest time and longest lines are 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Avoid those times if at all possible.

Q: Can voters ask questions about my ballot at the polls?

You may ask for instruction on how to cast a write-in vote and general instructions will be given to you on how to mark the oval indicating your choice(s) on the ballot, but that is all that the inspectors can help you with.  Inspectors working the polls are prohibited from giving the names of write-in candidates to voters. This information must be obtained from the clerk’s office or the actual candidate, for instance. There are sample ballots available at each polling location that voters are welcome to peruse while in line or waiting to vote. 

Other helpful tips

  • Voters cannot discuss what is on the ballot (proposals or candidates) with other voters in line or inside of the polling location.  These conversations must be conducted 100 feet from the entrance door to the building that the polling location is located.
  • Cell phone conversation is permitted if they're not distracting. No conversations are permitted on cell phones concerning how a voter will vote, or asking someone else how you should vote, communication of any kind in the precinct concerning any voting matter is strictly prohibited verbally or on a cell phone.
  • A sample of the ballot will be on the township website:  www.twp.northville.mi.us. I would encourage ALL voters to download and print out a sample ballot and review it carefully prior to voting on election day.
  • You may bring a “cheat sheet” to use to help you mark the ballot provided that it is not visible in the precinct and not discussed with anyone in person, or on a cell phone.
  • If you are going to need an absentee ballot, request it early.
  • For voters under the impression that there’s “early voting” in Michigan, there isn’t. Voters can request a “late” absentee ballot after the Nov. 3 deadline on Monday, Nov. 5 until 4 p.m. However, there will be limited staff available to issue ballots on Monday (staff will be out setting up the precincts) and voters should plan on long lines at township hall on Monday.  At the last Presidential Election in 2008, the wait was 15-18 minutes and that was with one additional staff member.  I am down one employee from November 2008.

Not sure where to go to vote or if you're registered? Check out the Michigan Voter Information Center.

Bruce Fealk October 01, 2012 at 11:41 AM
If you do not have ID, you can simply sign the affidavit on the back of the voter application. You DO NOT need ID to vote. If you are denied a ballot, please call voter protection.
Robert E. Moreillon October 01, 2012 at 02:52 PM
It's hard to believe that a political whiz like Sue Hilleband does not know the law in Michigan, or that this "photo ID required" scam is a nationwide program by Republicans to scare voters away from the polls.
Herb Helzer October 03, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Bob, the only thing I can conclude is that Sue Hillebrand, political wiz, knows EXACTLY what her orders are, as handed down by her right-wing partisan bosses -- Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and MIGOP Chair "Bobby" Schostak. And those orders are: SLOW THE VOTE. DEPRESS TURNOUT. I will be a poll watcher, and the first time I see a prospective voter appear to be intimidated by the ID question, I'm calling it in.
Joseph McCauley November 05, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Be sure to bring a cheat-cheat (with your votes) so you can vote correctly and quickly. The ballot is two pages (front and back) and you being ready should hurry the process for everyone. Also, if you are registered, don't let anyone keep you from voting.
Ken November 05, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Thank goodness for NEUTRAL observers such as yourself. I feel much safer....


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