The Kalamazoo City Clerk is inviting city residents to share comments and feedback about elections for a discussion at the City Commission’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, May 17 at 5 p.m. The meeting will focus on Kalamazoo elections and how they can be made more inclusive for all eligible city voters.
Community members are encouraged to call in during the meeting and record their comments and feedback to be played during the meeting. Comments will also be accepted leading up to the event by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Other opportunities to share input are expected through 2021 as the City Clerk works to create and implement a plan to expand voter services.
The City Clerk’s Office and Elections team will also be conducting direct outreach to community organizations to ensure that voices are heard from people of all ages, abilities, races, backgrounds, and neighborhoods.
“Everyone’s voice is important, and we want to be sure that everyone in our city is included in our elections,” explained City Clerk Scott Borling. “We’re looking to understand if the new options we offered in November were helpful, and what other services we should consider to achieve that goal.”
With support from a $218,869 grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, the City Clerk’s Office was able to install four additional drop boxes in advance of the November 2020 election, and open a satellite office location on the campus of Western Michigan University to assist voters last fall. More weekend and evening office hours were also added, and return postage was supplied with all absentee ballots. Community input will help evaluate these services and determine if they are offered for future elections or if there are better alternatives.
“We want voting to be easy, convenient, and secure for everyone in our city,” Borling continued. “Please take a moment to share how we can better serve the people of the City of Kalamazoo and help everyone exercise their sacred and fundamental right to vote.”