Changes come as Nights & Weekends grassroots program expands to encourage extended clerk hours, satellite locations
MICHIGAN–Voters Not Politicians joins with Oakland Forward, ACLU People Power & GOTV-Michigan, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, NAACP Michigan Chapter, and Promote the Vote to celebrate another victory to expand voting access through extended clerk hours in Pontiac, Michigan.
“We’ve extended our hours to make it more convenient for people to drop off their ballots,” said Pontiac City Clerk Garland Doyle. “They will also be able to request their ballot or pick it up with proper identification. The new hours are 8:30am to 8:00pm Monday through Thursday, 8:30am to 4:00pm Fridays from now until the August 4th primary election. Additionally, Saturday, August 1 clerk service hours will be from 9am to 1pm, and Sunday, August 2 from 10:30am to 2:30pm.”
VNP launched its Nights & Weekends program in mid-2019 to increase access to voting in Michigan by collaborating with local clerks to expand hours for registration and absentee voting in the evenings and weekends leading up to elections.
“We applaud the leadership in Pontiac and cities and townships across the state 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 look forward to having more municipalities join the effort to make voting 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 following a successful campaign by the Promote the Vote coalition. 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.
Pontiac joins Berkley, Ferndale, Farmington Hills, East Lansing, Sterling Heights, and Ann Arbor as cities that 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.