Voters in the City of Kalamazoo will have new options this November to register to vote or cast their ballots. The Kalamazoo City Clerk is introducing several new measures for the November 3 Election to help residents make their voices heard and stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
The City Clerk’s Office will open a new branch office starting Monday, October 5 located on the first floor of the Bernhard Center on Western Michigan University’s campus (1903 W Michigan Ave). This location and the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall (241 W South St) will both have extended hours in October leading up to Election Day, including evening and weekend hours. Starting October 5, both locations will be open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with additional or adjusted hours on the following dates:
- Monday, October 19: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Saturday, October 24: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, October 27: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Saturday, October 31: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Monday, November 2: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, November 3: 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Both locations will be available to assist all City of Kalamazoo voters with registration, absentee ballots, and other election-related requests. These offices will only be able to assist voters that are registered in the City of Kalamazoo. Other voters will need to contact the Clerk where they are registered for assistance.
In addition to extended hours, four new drop boxes are currently being installed throughout the City and will be available to voters on or before October 2. These are in addition to the drop box that has been available south of City Hall on St. Johns Place. The new drop boxes will available to receive election materials at:
- Douglass Community Association, 1000 W Paterson St
- Eastside Neighborhood Association, 1301 E Main St
- City of Kalamazoo Stockbridge Offices, 415 E Stockbridge Ave
- Kalamazoo Public Safety Station 7, 2331 Parkview Ave
Materials from these drop boxes will be collected at least once per day, with multiple collections occurring daily as the election nears. All four of the new drop boxes are walk-up only. The drop box on St. Johns Place is accessible to pedestrians and from vehicles.
“We are glad to be able to offer these expanded options for voters in the City of Kalamazoo,” noted City Clerk Scott Borling. “We hope all eligible voters will take advantage of them and exercise their right to vote in November.”
Voters that choose to vote absentee can return their ballots to either office, to a drop box, or by mail. Voters that are returning ballots by mail are encouraged to mail them as early as possible. To assist voters, first class postage is being provided for all absentee ballots for the November 3 Election. Voters can track and check the status of their absentee ballot at www.michigan.gov/vote to verify it has arrived.
“Regardless of how you intend to vote, we encourage you to make a plan and do as much as you can ahead of time,” continued Clerk Borling. “Make sure you are registered, request and return absentee ballots, and check your polling location ahead of time. And if you vote absentee, make sure you sign your ballot.”
In-person voting will remain an option for all voters on Election Day from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Voters that plan to vote in-person at their polling location are encouraged to verify they are registered and confirm their location by visiting www.michigan.gov/vote. Voters should wear a mask and socially distance to protect each other, poll workers, and our community.
Funding to support the City Clerk’s expanded services is provided by a Safe and Secure Election Administration Grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life. The grant provides $218,869 to support the implementation of a Safe Voting Plan and will cover initiatives, equipment, and services that maintain access to voting and keep voters and poll workers safe.
“We have an exceptional elections team here in the City of Kalamazoo and the November election will be free and fair, like every election in Kalamazoo,” continued Clerk Borling. “Voters can help by knowing their rights and responsibilities and planning ahead. Our office is happy to answer any questions, clarify processes, or correct information. Just call 3-1-1 or (269) 337-8000.”