By Tom Travis
Over fifteen thousand absentee ballot applications have been processed and ballots have been mailed out so far from the Flint City Clerk’s office, and extended weekly hours and Saturday and Sunday hours continue to be made available for voting, according to a press release issued from the clerk’s office Friday.
The clerk’s office also has hired additional staff in preparation for the first presidential general election during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release. City Clerk Inez Brown told City Council in their last meeting that her office expects to hire an additional 250 workers for the November election. She said she normally has about 350 workers for elections but due to the pandemic, many of the workers didn’t show up for the August primary. Brown said election workers will be paid an additional $100/day in hazard pay.
EVM reported last month that a $475,625 grant for the Flint City Clerk’s office to provide additional ballot drop boxes, additional staffing, strengthened election security, and processing of absentee ballots has been approved by the Flint City Council.
The grant, from the non-profit Center for Tech and Civic Life , comes on the heels of 7th Circuit Court Judge Celeste Bell ruling on complaints about voting and ballot processes from the American Civil Liberties Untion (ACLU) and five Flint voters against City Clerk Inez Brown.
Extended and weekend hours offered for voters
The press release listed the following hours for the Clerk’s office:
The Clerk’s office is open daily, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 3, 2020.
In addition, the Clerk’s office will be open on the following weekends to receive absentee ballots over the counter.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17 and Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The public will be able to vote in person three weekends in a row beginning Oct. 17.
Voters rights and voting deadlines
Voters have the right to register for the election and immediately obtain an absentee voter ballot during the 14 days leading up to the election and on Election Day.
Friday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. is the deadline for the City Clerk’s office to receive by mail absentee ballot requests from registered voters in the City of Flint for the Nov. 3 General Election.
Registered voters have the right to apply for, receive and submit an absentee ballot in person at the City Clerk’s office until Nov 2 at 4 p.m., the day prior to the election. Voters who register to vote, or update their address on Election Day, may vote by absentee in the Clerk’s Office.
The public is reminded that individuals entering a polling place for the purposes of voting in an election are encouraged to wear a mask but not required to wear one, per Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-153, issued on Friday, July 17, 2020.
Voters requiring additional information about the Nov. 3 election should contact the Flint City Clerk’s Office at 810-766-7414. The Clerk’s office is located on the 2nd floor of City Hall, 1101 S. Saginaw St. Flint, 48502.
EVM assistant editor Tom Travis can be reached at email@example.com