August 4, 2020 is the Federal/State Primary election. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. You can vote in person at your normal polling location or vote by absentee ballot. You can find an absentee ballot application form and download sample ballots to see what’s on your ballot here.
For the safety of our poll workers and other voters, please wear a mask when you go to vote, and be prepared to sanitize your hands when you enter the polling location to make sure all the surfaces in the precinct remain clean. We are providing sneeze guards, masks and sanitizing products for each location to protect the workers who are providing assistance to the voters. Voting booths, pens and other surfaces will be sanitized periodically throughout the day.
Absentee ballots are available in person at our front counter during business hours until 4 pm on Monday, August 3. To date, we’ve mailed over 2,800 ballots to those who have requested them (more than most Presidential elections).
If you apply and receive an absentee ballot, please vote the ballot and return it to our offices so that it can be counted on election day. We have seen articles/posts that advocate for getting a ballot but then not using it and going to polls to vote on election day. While legally an option, doing so may cause ballot shortages on election day. In addition, there will be delays at the polls because election workers must call the office to verify that your absentee ballot has not been turned in at city hall before issuing another ballot.
Returning your absentee ballots to city hall in person is the most reliable option. We have a dropbox at our front counter during office hours, and a dropbox just inside the main entrance vestibule that remains unlocked 24/7. If you’re mailing your ballot, please allow at least 5-7 days for the mail to reach us. Postmarks are not accepted; your ballot must reach us by 8 pm on election day.
Once received in our offices, absentee ballots are checked to make sure the signature on the outside of the envelope matches the signature we have on file for the voter, then they remain sealed in their envelopes and securely stored until election day. On election day, two teams of election inspectors verify the number of ballots to be counted and then open all of the envelopes and feed them into a tabulating machine. At the end of the night, the results are sent via modem to the Kent County Clerks Office where they are combined with the precinct results and available on their website or through local media channels.
Please contact our offices at 616.949.2110 with questions about voter registration, absentee ballots or other election-related questions.