The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, September 29, 2000

C'mon, send 'em in! Return voter forms to clerk by Oct. 10

By The Building Tradesman

How important is the Nov. 7 general election?

Extremely important.

That's why the Detroit and Michigan Building Trades Councils this week have mailed more than 70,000 voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications to all building trades union member around the state. Several other unions have sent the forms to their membership under their own cover letter, to maximize voter participation.

"Of course, we know that we already have thousands of members who are registered to vote," said Greater Detroit Building Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Devlin. "But there are still a lot of workers who aren't registered to vote, or maybe a family member is unregistered. Hopefully, having a form sent directly to their home will provide the motivation to get registered."

Voters who are already registered may find it inconvenient to get to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 7. In fact, some Hardhats putting in 10- or 12-hour days may find it impossible to get to their polling place. That's why the state allows such workers the convenience of sending in an absentee ballot. And state law permits people over 60 years of age to get an absentee ballot automatically, just by filling out the form.

Included with the forms are addresses for all 83 county clerks in the state - the destination for the forms. Voter registration forms must postmarked by Oct. 10 so that you will be eligible to vote in the Nov. 7 general election.

Following are a few other items of interest when it comes to registering to vote:

  • Many Michigan residents are still under the mistaken impression that jury duty lists are taken from voter registration files. Not true. Jury duty lists are taken from motor vehicle registration files - so if you don't want to be picked for jury duty, stop driving.
  • You don't have to register to vote through the mail. Forms are available at any one of the 178 Secretary of State offices, or your city, township or county clerk's offices. You can return your forms at those locations, too.
  • If you register by mail, you must vote in person at your assigned precinct the first time you vote, unless you're disabled, 60 or older, or temporarily residing overseas.