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Northern Michigan Clerks Get Ready for Local Elections

Tuesday is Election Day. It’s a chance for voters across Northern Michigan to get out and let their voices be heard.

The Michigan primary will decide some local elections and further advance congressional races.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and local clerks have put a lot of work into ensuring a smooth day for voters.

“The most difficult task is preparing your ballot,” said Kalkaska County Clerk, Deborah Hill. “It is a very tedious effort and it’s reviewed by many, many different people, different groups, before it gets printed.”

It’s a process that started months before Tuesday’s elections.

County clerks have to ensure ballot language is completely accurate.

But now that the big day is here, they’re just preparing for a rush of voters who want their voices to be heard.

“The time that it will be getting busy is when the polls close,” explained Hill. “For me personally, I prepare a tally sheet for the precincts, asking them to foward me those unofficial results as soon as they run their tabulator tapes.”

Kalkaska County is looking at three county proposals and several township proposals.

“In Kalkaska specifically, there’s the Kaliseum millage, the public transportation millage, which are both renewals, and then soil conservation also has a new millage,” Hill explained.

Kalkaska Township is the largest of the county’s townships.

They’re expecting a better turnout than they had in May, but lower than they will have in November.

“We kind of base it on the number of absentee ballots,” said Michael Winter, Kalkaska Township’s supervisor. “The last general election we had 650 absentees. Right now there are probably 160 or 170.”

Townships tally and deliver unofficial results to the county after polls close.

Deborah Hill expects to work over 12 hours on Tuesday.

“It could be one, two in the morning depending, you know, how late the precincts bring in their memory packs and their precinct materials,” Hill explained.

If you’re on the fence about getting out to vote…

“This is your opportunity,” Hill says. “It’s the democracy we live in. It gives you that opportunity to speak your piece and vote for who you want in office.”

For a link to see a sample ballot, click .

Registered voters need to bring a photo ID, or sign an affidavit.

When polls close at 8 p.m., we will have the latest results online and on 9&10 News at 11 and Fox 32 News at 10.

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