The Election Division of the City Clerk's Office is responsible for voter registration of city residents and the administration of all elections. Elections in Kalamazoo are run with honesty and integrity and are in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws, ensuring that everyone in Kalamazoo has the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.
When do I vote?
State election laws establish three potential election dates each year:
- The May regular election date, which is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May.
- The August regular election date, which is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in August.
- The November regular election date, which is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
The election dates in 2017 are:
- Tuesday, May 2, 2017
- Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
All voters are assigned a precinct at the time of registration. That precinct location can be found on the voter identification card (see example below). A voter must vote at the precinct assigned to him or her. The ballot provided at that precinct will have all of the representatives of their residence displayed.
If you have misplaced your voter identification card. The Michigan Voter Information Center will provide polling location information. The site will also provide helpful information such as maps, a listing of candidates on the ballot, and a calendar of important election dates. A voter identification card is not required at the polls. It's provided simply as reference.
Maps and additional information about districts & precincts can be found here.
If you'll be absent from the community you can request an absentee ballot up until the day before the election.
Am I registered?
The Michigan Voter Information Center can assist in identifying if you are a registered voter, as well as provide precinct locations and maps, a listing of candidates on the ballot, and a calendar of important election dates. If you find you are not registered, please visit the voter registration page to find out how to register.
What's on the ballot?
The Michigan Voter Information Center allows you to search for ballot information by jurisdiction, or view a personalized sample ballot after searching for your voter registration information.
How do I vote?
The City of Kalamazoo uses the M-100 optical scan voting system from Election Systems and Software (ES&S). This system requires that voters indicate their votes on a paper ballot, which his then fed into an electronic scanner for tabulation. The original paper ballots are retained in the event that verification is necessary. The video below offers a brief introduction to this equipment.
I need assistance...
Voters requiring assistance may vote independently by using the AutoMARK ballot marking device. This device will mark the voter's ballot after they've made their selections using a touch screen. The device assists voters with mobility, vision, and literacy difficulties. Voters may also request assistance from the person of their choice. However, that person may not be the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of a union to which the voter belongs. Two precinct inspectors may also assist the voter. The video below offers a brief introduction to the AutoMARK device.
I've recently moved from another state and am not eligible to vote in Michigan. Can I still vote?
It depends on the State but most will allow you to vote one last time if your move was within 60 days of the election. To verify this information with the State you formerly lived in, visit the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) website for contact information.
Become a pollworker
Becoming a pollworker is a great way to get involved in our community! The City of Kalamazoo employs between 150 and 300 poll workers depending on the election, and we're always recruiting new workers. As the technology used in election processes continues to advance, the need for voters familiar with these processes is greater than ever. Serving as a pollworker is a great way to fulfill civic duty! Poll workers are required to be registered voters in the State of Michigan and are paid $135 for the day. To apply, submit a Pollworker Application to the City Clerk's Office.
Voting as a student
As a student, the State of Michigan allows you to register to vote at your permanent address (a parent's address, for example) or at your school address. Please be aware that registering to vote will change the address found on your driver's license or state I.D. Likewise, if you change the address on your driver's license the address of your voter registration will be changed to match. Please take this into consideration when you are presented with an opportunity to fill out a voter registration form or when you go to the Secretary of State's Office to renew your license.
Kalamazoo College Office of Student Involvement
WMU Student Association
WMU Voting Information
What are my rights?
As a Michigan voter, you have the right to:
- Be treated with courtesy and respect by the election workers.
- Vote in private free from interference or intimidation.
- Review a sample ballot before voting.
- Review a summary of the state and federal laws which govern voting.
- Ask for and receive help from the election workers if you are unsure about anything related to casting a ballot.
- Obtain a replacement ballot if you make a mistake when voting.
- Obtain an absentee ballot if you are qualified to vote absentee.
- Vote a provisional ballot if your name does not appear on the registration list and you assert, under oath, that 1) you registered to vote by the registration deadline and 2) you are a resident of the city or township where you are offering to vote.
- Have your minor child (under age 18) accompany you in the voting station while you vote.
- Obtain a ballot if in line when the polls close at 8 p.m.
- Report illegal or fraudulent activity to the local clerk or the Michigan Department of State's Bureau of Elections
What are my responsibilities?
As a Michigan voter, you have a responsibility to:
- Treat the election workers and other voters with courtesy and respect.
- Respect the privacy and voting rights of other voters.
- Request instructions or assistance as needed if you do not know how to use the voting equipment or have other questions about casting a ballot.
- Be informed about the candidates and proposals on the ballot.
- Check your ballot to ensure that it accurately reflects your choices.
- Read and follow all voting instructions.
- Register at least 30 days before the election.
- Keep your voter registration information up-to-date with your current address.
- Follow all federal and state voting laws.
- Vote in person if you 1) Registered by mail and 2) have never previously voted in Michigan. (Does not apply to voters who are age 60 or older, disabled or overseas.)
- Provide identification before voting if you 1) Registered by mail, 2) have never previously voted in Michigan, and 3) have not already satisfied the identification requirement. (Acceptable ID includes a current and valid photo ID or a paycheck stub, utility bill, bank statement or government document that lists your name and address. Requirement does not apply to voters who are disabled or overseas.)
- Refrain from campaigning or influencing voters in the polling place.