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Voter turnout high, detachment ballot issue



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October 24, 2012 - Atlas Twp.-In 2004 township voter turnout topped 82 percent.

"It could go higher this year," said Tere Onica, township clerk, as she prepared for the Nov. 6 election. We have a two-page ballot, front and back, and the village detachment issue. Right now we have about 1,100 absentee ballots; in the (2012) primary election we had 487. The lines are going to be long, there's a lot on this ballot."

The presidential election is just over a week away and Onica says she has prepared for the high turnout and the unique detachment vote.

Township and village residents will decide on the detachment of 87 parcels of property within the village to Atlas Township. The areas include properties on Shuman Drive and in Mill Pointe Shores and Fairview Hills subdivisions. The Genesee County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to put the partial detachment of the village to the township on the Nov. 8 ballot. Residents of Goodrich, the township, and the proposed detached areas will vote—a simple majority is needed.

Under the law (MCL 78.5) the ballots for detachment will have to be handled separately, added Onica.

"It's the same ballot as everyone else," she said. "However, the voters in the detached areas will be marked and tabulated separately. It's no different than the Davison and Grand Blanc school districts that vote in the township. Those are flagged, too."

The ballots in the detached areas are highlighted with a purple marker. After voting those ballots will go into a seperate box for tabulation.

"That's according to the law," added Onica. "These rules are outlined and will be followed according to state law."

"It's common to mark ballots to assure they are separate. Voters will not have an identification attached to the ballots and they will all be confidential. No one will know how they vote—however, the detached areas will be counted separately."

Polls are open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

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