Friday, September 28, 2012

Nov. 6 Election - Deadlines, ID and Citizenship

This November 6th is an important election for our nation, our state, our county and our Bloomfield Township community.  There are ballot proposals that could change our state constitution.  Be an informed voter.

What do you need to know about deadlines, ID and Citizenship?

In order to take part in the Nov. 6, 2012 election, you must be registered to vote where you live.  That deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. See more important dates.  Paperwork must be filled out and returned to the clerk's office where you live.  At this point in time, I would recommend a visit rather than mailing the documents.  Have you moved to a new home?  Did you recently celebrate your 18th birthday?  Are you a new U.S. citizen?  This is your opportunity to VOTE.....please register by Oct. 9, 2012.

When you register to vote, you will receive a card in the mail that tells you which precinct number and the polling address where you will cast your vote. View the link to see a map of township precincts.  Many people bring their voter precinct card with them on voting day.  That is fine, but it is not necessary and is NOT considered appropriate ID to receive a ballot.

The ID must be picture identification and be current, not expired:

Michigan driver's license
Michigan personal ID card
Perhaps the above cards from another state if it is CURRENT
U.S. passport
Military ID with photo
Federal or state government issued photo ID
Student ID with photo from H.S. or accredited institution of higher education
Tribal ID with photo

Fair warning: the election inspector will spend time verifying the information on the picture ID document to make sure it has not expired and will take a moment to verify that the picture does match with the person presenting the ID.  The election inspector will do this even if they know you very well.

If you spend part of the year in another state, which state is your "home" voting state?  You may not vote in two states.  If you will not be in your legal "home" state on Nov. 6 to physically go to the polls, make sure you apply for an absentee ballot from that state in time to fill out THEIR BALLOT and return it BEFORE the deadline.

Fair warning: is your birthday in October?  Did you need to renew your driver's license this year?

OK, you stood in line at the polling location and then discover you left your ID at home or you simply don't have photo ID.  No problem.  Don't stress.  The election inspector will give the voter a form called: "Affidavit of Voter Not in Possession of Picture Identification"  to sign.  Your signature will attest to the fact that you are NOT in possession of picture ID.  You will be issued a ballot.

Fair warning: this affidavit states: "Penalty:  Making a false statement in this affidavit is perjury, punishable by a fine up to $1,000.00 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both."

Fair warning: if you have your picture ID with you, but refuse to show it, you may NOT sign the affidavit. You will not be issued a ballot to vote. You will be referred to the local clerk to try to resolve the issue.

The last issue in this blog is citizenship.  You must be a U.S. citizen to vote.  There currently is confusing information at many governmental levels about a circle to fill in on the "application to vote" that asks: "Are you a United States Citizen?"  This question may or may not appear on the November 2012 ballot.  Quite frankly, I'm proud to be a U.S. citizen and will voluntarily circle in that answer if asked.

Fair warning: the citizenship question may or may not be on the "application to vote" form for this Nov. election. However, you still must sign the application. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are not entitled to vote. Be careful of what you sign.  See below.

Fair warning:  please remember these words on that "application to vote": " I certify that I am a registered and qualified elector in the above precinct and hereby make application to vote at this election."   If it found that you are not a citizen and you did vote in this election, there will be consequences.  Possibly deportation.

Many fine people in the community own homes, pay taxes, send their children to the schools, have driver licenses, and have jobs, etc.  However, the question is:  Are you a U.S. citizen?  The answer must be yes in order to vote. 

The Bloomfield Township website has great information concerning elections including a SAMPLE ballot to review.  Choose YOUR voting precinct (ie:  school districts may be different, etc.) from the  list to get the correct sample ballot to study and review before going to the polls to vote the actual ballot.  The actual ballot will be on both sides of the paper. 

Remember to VOTE on November 6  or earlier by absentee ballot.

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