Changes come as Nights & Weekends grassroots program expands to encourage extended clerk hours, satellite locations
MICHIGAN–Voters Not Politicians is celebrating expanded voting access through extended clerk hours in three Michigan cities, Berkley, Ferndale, and Farmington Hills. The organization’s Nights & Weekends program was launched in mid-2019 to increase access to voting in Michigan — especially in areas where turnout has been low in recent elections — by collaborating with local clerks to support extended hours for registration and absentee voting during the evenings and weekends leading up to elections.
“We applaud the leadership in Berkley, Ferndale, and Farmington Hills for going above and beyond to make sure that voters have a safe, secure way to cast their ballots in August and November,” said Kim Murphy-Kovalick, State Field Director for Voters Not Politicians. “Our volunteers played a critical role in bringing these changes to fruition, and we’re optimistic that more municipalities will join in the effort to make voting more accessible to all through expanded clerk hours and satellite locations to reduce the amount of in-person voting and protect public health.”
In 2018, 67% of Michigan voters approved Proposal 3. As a result, Michigan voters secured two important new voting rights: same-day voter registration and no-reason absentee voting. These amendments to the state constitution make it easier for Michigan voters to cast their ballots and make it safer for voters during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research shows that access to voting outside of regular business hours significantly increases voter turnout. Increased hours can also reduce crowding and long lines at clerk offices right before the election.
“The City of Ferndale is pleased to announce extended hours and drive through service to issue absent voter ballots,” said Ferndale City Clerk Marne McGrath. “We value our voters’ time and health and expanding voting hours, particularly on weekday evenings and weekends, gives voters on the go more opportunities to pick up a ballot when it fits into their lives. We thank Voters Not Politicians volunteers for recognizing that the Saturday and Sunday hours we’ve always offered the weekend before the election could serve even more voters if expanded and we look forward to more ways we can work together to increase voting access for all.”
Berkley, Ferndale, and Farmington Hills join East Lansing and Ann Arbor City Council as cities who have passed resolutions or implemented policy changes to expand voting access.
Voters Not Politicians is a nonpartisan advocacy organization that works to strengthen democracy by engaging people across Michigan in effective citizen action. Learn more at www.votersnotpoliticians.com.