You have probably heard by now (about a hundred times) that there will be a Presidential Primary Election on March 8, 2016. There will be 13 Republican Candidates, and four Democratic Candidates, all of whom wish to be our next president.
As in any primary election, you can only vote for one party. However, where you would normally vote in one section on the ballot, this time you will only get the ballot of your choice. There will be one ballot for Republican candidates, with the 13 names on it, and one ballot for Democrat, with the four names on it.
To make it more confusing, we also have a ballot issue for Pontiac School District voters. So, if you live in the Pontiac School District, you can choose a Republican ballot, or a Democrat ballot, or just a school district ballot. The Republican and Democrat ballots will have the school issue on it for those who choose for vote in the Presidential Primary also.
One important issue is that the parties themselves will know who voted in their primary. That means the Republican and Democrat parties will know which primary ballot you chose. Although we, as Clerks, fought against the release of that information, the parties took the State Election department to court some years ago for the right to get the lists of voters. They won. Of course they will not know WHO you voted for; just which party you chose. Choosing one party or the other does not “sign you up” for that party, nor does it mean anything other than you chose to vote that party this time.
The candidates who win this election will not automatically be the candidate for the Presidency. Many states will have primaries, but in the end the parties themselves have Precinct Delegates who nominate their candidates at a convention. It is assumed the popular candidates, who win the primaries, will be the party candidate for President, but that is not always true.
Whether you vote in person or by absentee, you will need to choose which ballot you wish to use. If you have any questions or want more clarification, please call my office at 248-370-9402 during business hours. We will be happy to help you.
In the meantime, if you work outside the City, or if you are over 60, or will be gone from the City on March 8, feel free to call us at 248-370-9402 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you an application for an absentee ballot.
PS – If you are interested in working for the City on Election Day, please call or email me!
Terri Kowal, City Clerk