GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — With Michigan’s presidential primary only five weeks away, the City of Grand Rapids is making it easier for residents to register to vote and get an absentee ballot. 

The City Clerk's Office opened the Election Central Office Monday, Feb. 3. It's located at 201 Market Ave. SW, which is also home to the city's Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments. 

The second-floor office is open noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, through Tuesday, March 10 with the hopes of reaching community members from low-voter turnout areas.  

Residents are able to register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot and drop off an absentee ballot at the Election Central office. 

There is free parking and the building can be accessed through the city's public transportation system: Get there by transit, biking or walking. There’s also a DASH North stop, which is a short walk from the building under the U.S. 131 overpass.

Residents also can visit the City Clerk’s Office to register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot and drop off an absentee ballot, among other election needs. The Clerk’s Office is on the second floor of City Hall, 300 Monroe Ave. NW, and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

The City Clerk’s Office also will hold voter outreach events ahead of the March 10 presidential primary. Each event will offer opportunities for residents to register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot and get other election details. The events are:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 18 ­– Noon to 7 p.m. at Baxter Community Center, 935 Baxter St. SE
  • Wednesday, Feb. 19 ­– Noon to 7 p.m. at the Hispanic Center of West Michigan, 1204 Grandville Ave. SW
  • Sunday, March 1 ­– Noon to 5 p.m. at Election Central, 201 Market Ave. SW
  • Saturday, March 7 ­– 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Election Central, 201 Market Ave. SW, and Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 300 Monroe Ave. NW, second floor

Here’s what voters need to know about the 2020 elections:

March 10 presidential primary – Voters need to select a Democratic or Republican ballot. There’s a box on the application to make that choice. This isn’t a party registration – it just indicates one’s ballot of choice for this election.

Aug. 4 primary election for federal, state and county races – Democratic and Republicans candidates are listed on the ballot. Voters need to select one or the other – you can’t cross between parties. Judges and proposals also may be on the ballot.

Nov. 3 presidential general election – Voters may cast a straight party ballot or select candidates individually. This ballot includes federal, state, county, judicial and school races as well as proposals.

Voters can check their voter registration status, view a sample ballot and find their polling location here.

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