Kalamazoo County voters gain nine days to cast ballots in person starting 2024
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – In an exciting development for voters, Kalamazoo County is set to implement a collaborative early voting agreement, starting in 2024. This initiative empowers Kalamazoo County voters to vote early, in person nine days before both state and federal elections, setting a new standard for future elections.
“Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Proposal 2022-2, enshrining in the state’s constitution the right to vote early, in-person for a minimum of nine days in federal and state elections,” said Meredith Place, Kalamazoo County Clerk/Register of Deeds.
The new legislation allows local jurisdictions to conduct early voting as a single municipality, jointly with one or more local jurisdictions in a municipal agreement, or by entering a county agreement. In Kalamazoo County, 18 out of 19 local city and township clerks expressed a preference for entering into a county agreement. Clerk Place, in a bid to maximize voter access and cost efficiency for taxpayers, has facilitated this collaborative county agreement.
The Early Voting Agreement and Enhancements to Voting Process
The Kalamazoo County Early Voting Agreement includes plans for four early voting sites, pending contractual agreements with the venues. State grant funding will subsidize to some extent the costs of equipment, facilities, and election workers, shared proportionally by the participating cities and townships.
“A county agreement, especially for smaller jurisdictions, is the most cost-effective way to administer early voting,” said Shannon Stutz, City of Parchment Clerk. “The costs of staffing the vote center alone would be quite high for a municipality our size, and even with multiple sites throughout the county, the ability to share expenses and administrative work with local partners makes this the best approach for us instead of having 19 different plans.”
In addition to extending early voting, Proposal 2 brings several other improvements, including an expanded number of drop boxes, a streamlined absentee ballot request process, a ballot tracking system, and updates to voter ID laws.
Beginning in 2024, voters residing in the following jurisdictions will be able to vote at any county Early Voting site during the nine-day early voting period before state and federal elections:
- Alamo Township
- Brady Township
- Charleston Township
- Climax Township
- Comstock Township
- Cooper Township
- City of Galesburg
- City of Kalamazoo
- Kalamazoo Charter Township
- Oshtemo Charter Township
- City of Parchment
- City of Portage
- Prairie Ronde Township
- Richland Township
- Ross Township
- Schoolcraft Township
- Texas Charter Township
- Wakeshma Township
Disclaimer: Pavilion Charter Township elected to conduct early voting as a single municipality, and voters from Pavilion Charter Township will be able to vote at their Township Hall.
For more information, visit the Kalamazoo County Clerk’s webpage dedicated to early voting.