More ballots return as clerks ready for weekend hours
October 30, 2020
By TOM LAVENTURE
As Election Day nears on Tuesday the city and county clerks of Gogebic County will be open Saturday, and some on Sunday, to allow for absentee voters to pick up and drop off ballots in person the final weekend before in-person voting is held at the polls.
“Clerks are required by law to do a total of 8 hours on either Saturday or Sunday or a combination over both days — the weekend before the Tuesday Nov. 3 election,” said Vicky Finco, clerk for Erwin Township.
Should a voter desire, his or her absentee ballot may be completed, put in an envelope, signed and presented to the clerk at the town hall to hold onto until Election Day, she said. The voter may also take the ballot home to complete but it must be returned to the clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order for it to be counted.
“Do not mail an absentee ballot at this point to me as there is no guarantee it will arrive by Tuesday, Nov. 3,” Finco said. “There is no other type of ‘early voting’ allowed in Michigan.”
The clerks for the other cities and townships of Gogebic County said Finco’s comments were the same for their municipalities.
The weekend hours differ depending on the office. This weekend’s hours include:
—The city of Bessemer clerk’s office will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 411 S. Sophie St.
—The city of Ironwood clerk’s office will be open on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Memorial Building at 213 Marquette St.
—The city of Wakefield clerk’s office will be open on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 509 Sunday Lake St.
—The Erwin Township clerk’s office will be open on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 8908 Van Buskirk Road.
—The Ironwood Township clerk’s office will be open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon at N10892 Lake Road.
—The Marenisco Township clerk’s office will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 314 Hall St.
—The Wakefield Township clerk’s office will be open on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 414 N. County Road 519.
—The Watersmeet Township clerk’s office will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at N4689 First St.
The U.S. Elections Project compiled absentee voting statistics as of Wednesday from the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, to show that 2,963 or 78.2% of the 3,790 total absentee ballots requested in Gogebic County have been so far returned. Around 27.1% of the total eligible Gogebic County voters have requested absentee voting ballots for the general election.
The city of Ironwood had 1,291 absentee ballots mailed out and 1,091 (84.5%) returned as of Wednesday, said Karen Gullan, city clerk.
As of Wednesday, there are 3,135,338 requested absentee ballots statewide in Michigan, which is 40% of the total eligible voting population, according to the Secretary of State. There are 2,338,417 (74.6%) of ballots returned so far with 1,567 (0.1%) rejected ballots.