Early voting is coming to Scio Township


Scio Township is on board with early voting after establishing the township’s Meeting Hall as an Early Voting Site for the November 7, 2023 Special Election.

This is not one off type of thing either; township voters can probably expect to see this for future votes and elections.

At its Aug. 15 meeting, the Scio Township Board approved a resolution put forth by township clerk Jessica Flintoft.

In her report to the township board, Flintoft said, “The resolution attached would establish Meeting Hall as the Early Voting Site for the November 7, 2023 Special Election, in addition to polling places on Election Day and absentee voting. Having the opportunity to first conduct Early Voting for a smaller election such as this one is helpful to us and the County Clerk, as we look toward how to implement this for the three elections upcoming in 2024.”

In giving some background, Flintoft said in November 2022, Michigan voters approved state Constitutional reforms to strengthen voter rights and expand voting access.

“Recently, the state enacted a set of enabling legislation to implement these voter-approved reforms as well as related reforms to voting,” Flintoft said in her report. “There are many changes that will expand access to the ballot, improving voter turnout. One change is the establishment of Early Voting in Michigan. While required in only State and Federal elections, jurisdictions may opt in to provide Early Voting for Special Elections as well. The voters spoke, and I believe it is most in line with voter intention to provide Early Voting for every election. It provides more opportunity to vote, and establishes consistency across elections which in itself improves turnout.”

The two questions that will be on the township's Nov. 7 ballot concern "Fire Services Improvement and Expansion." According to the township, the first question on the ballot is designated an "Operating Question," to defray the costs of day-to-day operations of the fire department, including hiring additional personnel. The second, a "Capital Question," would defray the costs of building and equipping a second fire station. Both questions rely on the authority of Public Act 33 of 1951 to annually authorize millage funds as requested by the Fire Department and authorized by the Township Board of Trustees.

The sole early voting site for Scio Township voters will be the Scio Township Meeting Hall, located at 827 N. Zeeb Road and the hours of operation of the early voting site will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, from Saturday, October 28 to Sunday, November 5, 2023.

According to the Michigan Board of Elections web page, “early voting allows a voter to cast a ballot before Election Day, in an experience similar to voting on Election Day. During the early voting period, voters are issued a ballot and can then insert their ballot directly into a tabulator at their early voting site.”

Any registered voter in Michigan has the right to vote early in person at an early voting site for statewide and federal elections in which they are eligible.

The Sun Times News followed up with township supervisor Will Hathaway about this decision. He said this will allow Scio to “implement the new, early voting procedures ahead of the higher turnout elections in 2024.”

This point was emphasized by Flintoft in her report:

“For the three 2024 elections, I expect to recommend adoption by the Board of Trustees of a comprehensive Countywide agreement for early voting. Scio Township Meeting Hall would remain an Early Voting site for Scio Township voters, and in addition for five other jurisdictions. Working together through our Countywide Clerks Association, we are developing a good plan that will serve Scio Township voters and carry out Early Voting as efficiently as possible, and at approximately 60% of the cost. I expect to bring this plan to the Board of Trustees in September or October.”

To learn more about this go to https://www.sciotownship.org/democracy/voting.

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