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Absentee ballots for August primary already available

Michigan’s Aug. 2 primary election is roughly five weeks away, but election officials advise that absentee ballots are available now.

Among the statewide races to be decided is which of five Republicans — already whittled down from 10 after another five vying to be the GOP nominee were disqualified over invalid signatures — will take on Democratic incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November.

And on the local level, while no Democrat has filed for the 38th District state senator race after John Braamse of Marquette withdrew, state Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township, does face a primary challenge from Matthew Furyk of Marquette and Kayla Wikstrom of Perkins.

Part of Dickinson County also now is in the state House’s 109th District, an open seat with Sara Cambensy of Marquette unable to run due to term limits. Two Democrats, Joe Boogren of Gwinn and Jenn Hill of Marquette, and two Republicans, Ron Gray and Melody Wagner, both of Gwinn, have filed for the primary.

Dickinson County used to be completely in the 108th House District, but that was shifted east by redistricting. The county now has been divided between the 109th District and the 110th, where Republican incumbent Greg Markkanen of Hancock has no primary opponent but will square off against Democrat Casey VerBerkmoes of Hubbell in the Nov. 8 midterm election.

So there are several strong reasons for area voters to take interest in the Aug. 2 primary — and to make sure everything registration-wise is in order and they become educated on the candidates competing to represent them in state government.

The absentee ballots for the Aug. 2 primary can be obtained at local clerk offices or can be mailed to voters who have already applied to vote absentee.

“Voters have numerous secure options for how to cast their ballots this August,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said. “Whether they choose to vote from home, by mail, via secure drop box, in person by absentee ballot at their local clerk office, or at their polling location on Election Day, Michigan voters can be confident their vote will be counted and their voice will be heard.”

Voters on the permanent absentee list have been mailed applications by their local clerk and some clerks may mail applications to all registered voters in their jurisdiction. Regardless of whether they received an application in the mail, voters can apply to vote absentee at Michigan.gov/Vote. At the same site, voters who have already submitted their application can track that it has been received and track the mailing of their ballot.

Voters on the permanent absentee application list will receive their application at the most recent address the clerk has on file. Political parties, candidates and partisan and nonpartisan organizations also frequently mail absentee applications directly to voters.

Clerks only provide one absentee ballot to each voter, and only after verifying the signature on the application matches the voter’s signature the clerk has on file.

For more information, go to Michigan.gov/Vote.

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