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What to know before voting on Primary Day, March 10

Posted at 6:06 AM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 08:36:05-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Thousands of people across West Michigan will be voting on Primary Day for their Democratic pick in the 2020 presidential election.

But before you head out to vote, there are a few things local election officials want you to keep in mind.

The presidential primary is different than other elections because ballots are split between the Republican and Democratic parties.

Each party is divvying up their delegates prior to their summer conventions and the general election in November.

“The candidates are not all on the same ballot, you have to choose one or the other," said Joel Hondorp, Grand Rapids City Clerk. "Just because you pick a Republican or Democratic ballot you are not registering with a party; you’re just picking a ballot for that election. And when you get to future elections you can pick whatever candidate you want.”

For anyone that has not registered to vote yet, good news -- you still can.

In 2018, Michiganders passed a proposal allowing same-day voter registration.

The key thing to note here: You can't register at your polling place. To register on Primary Day, you need to visit your local city or township clerk's office.

"You can go to City Hall or if you’re not in Grand Rapids you can go to your city or township hall and you can register to vote and you can vote that day," said Hondorp.

Once you have registered, it's important you go to the correct polling location.

"Make sure you’re going to the right precinct. We’ve had some precinct changes because locations aren’t available, so we mailed out voters cards to everybody," said Hondorp. "But just check that website one last time to make sure you’re going to the right place. You can see your sample ballot just so you know what’s going on.”

When it comes down to it, being in the know before you go is your best approach to Primary Day.

For more information on election day procedures, absentee ballots or to find out if you are registered, click here.