Secretary of State urges voters to turn out for primary election

(WXYZ) - There's a big push to get voters to the polls for the primary election in Michigan.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is calling on registered voters to turn out next Tuesday, February 28th at the polls to make their voice known.

"I would urge all citizens who wish to do so to celebrate their freedom and make sure their voice is heard, their vote counts," said Johnson, Michigan's chief elections officer.

This election, like all elections, is open to all registered voters. However, because this is a "closed primary," voters will be required to indicate which party's primary they wish to vote in, and they will then receive that party's ballot. Remember, voters do not need to be a registered member of a political party in order to cast a ballot.

"I would urge all citizens who wish to do so to celebrate their freedom and make sure their voice is heard, their vote counts," said Johnson, Michigan's chief elections officer.

More than 50 counties will be holding special elections next week asking voters to consider a variety of ballot questions. If you wish to vote only in these elections you can request a ballot that does not include presidential candidates. To get a sample ballot, find out if you are registered to vote or to find your polling place you can visit the Michigan Voter Information Center or the Secretary of State's elections website .

There is still time to get an absentee ballot if you are 60 years or older, unable to attend the polls without the assistance of others, expecting to be out of town, in jail awaiting arraignment or trial, not able to get to the polls because of religious reasons or appointed to work as an election inspector.

Voters who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2:00 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and must indicate their political party ballot choice in writing (Republican ballot; Democratic ballot; or ballot without presidential primary, for jurisdictions with local issues on the ballot). Absentee ballots can be obtained in person from the voter's local clerk anytime through 4:00 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, Feb. 27, must vote the ballot in the clerk's office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Residents who registered to vote by mail or as part of a voter registration drive and have never voted in Michigan are not eligible to vote by absentee ballot in their first election. They must vote in person at their precinct. This restriction does not apply to voters who are overseas, disabled or 60 or older.

A specially equipped voting station called the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal is also available at each polling location for use by voters with disabilities.

For more information about office locations and additional services, visit www.Michigan.gov /sos . Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/Michsos and Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/Michigansos . Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

You can also call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424)

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