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GR city clerk: 100% increase in voter turn out so far thanks to absentee ballots

Posted at 6:23 AM, Aug 03, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tuesday is the primary election and the Grand Rapids City Clerk Joel Hondorp says as you head out to the polls things are going to be a bit different with COVID-19.

"It's different, the you know the last time that we were kind of normal here in Michigan was march 10 which was election day. that's when we had the first positive COVID case in the state of Michigan so ever since then, I was preparing to get back to work, but getting prepared for the upcoming elections," Joel Hondorp, Grand Rapids City Clerk said.

Part of that preparation was mailing out more than 34,000 absentee ballots to Grand Rapids voters, according to Hondrop, who says he is already seeing a 100% increase in voter turnout compared to last year.

All 76 Grand Rapids voting precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"They have time to mail but it's very limited time because mailed isn't next day like it used to be so if you have an absentee ballot still the best thing to do is find out if your city or township has a drop box," he said.

For Grand Rapids residents, the city has a spot for you to drop off your absentee ballot right across from city hall at 300 Ottawa Street.

If you plan on voting at your local polling place, Hondorp says the voters will be encouraged to wear masks and gloves and use hand sanitizer and voting booths will be placed six feet apart.

"One thing to remember is the governor has stated that wearing masks while voting is encouraged but it is not mandatory so that's one thing to remember as voters go in and they see somebody without a mask that they're allowed to not have to wear a mask to vote," Hondorp said.

The city clerk also wants to remind voters this primary election, both democratic and republican candidates are listed on the same ballot.

Voters are reminded to check [] to verify their voter registration, view a sample ballot, find their polling location and check the status of their Absentee Ballot.

There have been a few Grand Rapids polling location changes for the August 4 Election:

Precinct 20

St. Paul’s Anglican Catholic Church (formerly Covenant Living)

2560 Lake Michigan Drive NW – 49504

Precinct 21

Highland Hills Baptist Church (Westview Church on Leonard is under construction – Temporary Change)

1415 Northrup Avenue NW - 49504

Precinct 23

Unity Church of Grand Rapids (formerly West Catholic High School – Permanent Change)

1711 Walker Avenue NW - 49504

Precinct 36

Yankee Clipper Library (formerly Pilgrim Manor – Temporary Change)

2025 Leonard Street NE - 49505

Precinct 61

Calvin Christian Reformed Church (formerly Clark Retirement Home – Temporary Change)

700 Ethel Avenue SE - 49506