Harley B. Rider
Vote the whole ballot, not just the front
The November ballot is going to be a long ballot with candidates and issues on both the front and back of the ballot. Local offices – the ones that have the most impact on your community – are sometimes on the back of the ballot. So PLEASE remember to vote the back side of the ballot, not just the front.
Straight-party voting and local offices
Straight-party voting is now a part of the Michigan Constitution. Many voters have historically voted straight-party, and will continue to do so. After all, it’s the easy way to vote. Unfortunately, in order to get elected in a contested race it is necessary to run as a Democrat or a Republican, even if the candidate’s politics aren’t clearly aligned with any political party.
However, there really aren’t any issues in Dexter Township that are Republican or Democrat – they are just issues that impact everyone in the Township, without regard to political party. That’s why it’s important to vote for the candidate in local elections, not the political party that the candidate appears to be associated with.
Some voters believe that once the straight-party position is checked, they can’t vote for any candidates outside that party. That isn’t at all true. You can vote straight-party Democrat, but still vote for individual Republicans, or candidates from other parties – or no party affiliation at all – without having any effect on other races.
Example: If you vote straight-party Democrat, you can vote for a candidate for Township Supervisor who runs as a Republican, and all the other Democrats except for Township Supervisor will still get the vote. The exception for that is for offices where you can vote for more than one candidate, such as Township Trustee. Once you vote for a candidate in an individual race, that negates the straight-party vote for that race only.
I know there are some folks who say they can never vote for a Republican (just as there are some who say they can never vote for a Democrat), but I’m asking you to vote to re-elect me in November. Yes, I run as a Republican, but that doesn’t mean that my votes on issues that impact Dexter Township have anything to do with ANY political party. My positions and votes on Dexter Township issues are votes to improve the community that I have called home for several decades.
Voting by Absentee Ballot
Dexter Township has implemented many measures to ensure that in-person voting is safe, but we expect that an unprecedented number of voters will vote by Absentee Ballot. Here are some tips for voting an Absentee Ballot:
Vote Early. As of the date I am writing this (September 10, 2020), Michigan Election Law still requires that ballots will only be counted if they are actually received by the Township Clerk by 8:00 PM on Election Day. So, make sure your ballot gets to the Clerk on time.
Don’t trust the mail. When I was Township Clerk, ballots were received late in virtually every election – sometimes as long as two weeks after the election, even though some of those late ballots were postmarked as much as two weeks before the election. If you mail your ballot, mail it as far in advance of the election as possible.
Deliver the ballot in person. The Township office is open to receive ballots from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, and on Election Day from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. But make sure you sign the ballot envelope and properly seal the envelope. The Township Clerk’s staff will check the signature to make sure it matches the voter’s signature on file. If the signature doesn’t match, the ballot may not count.
Use the Drop Box. The blue drop box by the entrance to the Township Hall is checked several times each day, so you can drop off your ballot outside business hours.
Finally, you can check the status of your ballot through the Michigan Voter Information Center https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/ When you ballot is received in the Township office, the Clerk’s staff enters the information that it has been received into the State of Michigan Qualified Voter File. The Clerk’s office will be extremely busy in the month leading up to the election, so please use your on-line resources, rather than calling the Clerk’s office.