New voting changes take effect this election

'I Voted Today' sticker, Photo Date: 10/27/2018 / Cropped Photo: Steve Rainwater / CC BY-SA 2.0 / (MGN)
By  | 

LANSING, MI. (WILX) -- Tuesday, May 7 is voting day for school millages and Michigan residents will now be able to use their new voting rights.

Back in November voters passed Proposal 3 which makes it easier to get an absentee ballot and to register to vote throughout Election day.

For the Lansing City Clerk, these new voting rules have even sparked a spike in voting for a May election.

"We've issued over 6,000 ballots for this election, which is a pretty high for a May election, so I think the voters are responding to that," said Chris Swope, the Lansing City Clerk.

Thanks to Proposal 3, any registered voter can now vote by absentee ballot without having to provide an excuse to local clerks.

"Maybe something happens and you have to leave town the day before election day and you may be gone for a couple days that you didn't know about," said Swope. "This helps avoid that."

Completed ballots can be mailed or dropped off in person at the local clerks office.

But they must be signed and received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Now for those who aren't registered to vote, you can now register and vote on the same day.

Voters must head to their local clerks office to register though, it can't be done at the voting precinct.

"They would able to get an absentee ballot or we would give them a receipt that they could take to a polling place if they prefer to vote at their regular polling place," said Swope. "It should be a pretty quick process."

Now what is on Tuesday's ballot?

For many, its school funding proposals.

The Lansing School District is specifically looking to pass a sinking fund for more than $70 million over the next 10 years.

This proposal follows their $120 million millage in 2016, but this sinking fund would be used on infrastructure and security upgrades in all 27 schools .

"This is about maintenance. This is about deferred maintenance," said Gabrielle Lawrence, Treasurer of Lansing School District Board of Education. "The average age of our building is 60 years old, this is about making sure our buildings are safe and secure."

For an average homeowner in the Lansing School District, they would see a tax increase of $1.20 per week.

"Yes it's an increase, but what better way to spend our dollars than an investment in our kids," said Lawrence.

In addition to Lansing schools, Mason Public Schools are seeking an operating millage renewal and the Okemos Public School District has also proposed a $24.9 million bond.

Now if you are registering to vote on Election day, you must bring documents that contain your name and current address.

Just a reminder polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm.

To find whats on your local ballot and where to vote, click here.

Copyright 2019 WILX. All rights reserved.