MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Deadlines to train and certify a new group of election inspectors are quickly approaching for clerks in Michigan ahead of absentee voting for the state's presidential primary.
Michigan elections in cold months like March present challenges because many of the state's reliable election inspectors are out-of-state enjoying warmer weather.
It's why Muskegon County Clerk Nancy Waters is inviting individuals 16 years old and older to participate in one of two election inspector training events on Feb. 19.
Waters says attendees will learn the basics of the job, and all about the state's ever-changing election laws.
"You can now go in and get registered to vote on election day," Waters said. It's one big change voters should be aware of leading up to March 10.
Michigan voters also no longer need to provide a reason for requesting an absentee ballot.
"It use to be you had to be 60 or over or you're going to be out of town," Waters said. "Everyone can get an absentee ballot."
Michigan voters skeptical about voting absentee can now track their ballot on the state's website.
"The ability now to track their absentee ballot should give them much much more confidence that their vote is going to be counted," Waters said.
Even with the expected increase in absentee voting, the need for election inspectors is still high. In the city of Muskegon alone more than 100 workers are needed on March 10.
Pay is at least minimum wage, with some communities paying a significantly higher hourly rate.
Waters and other clerks are hopeful a new wave of Michigan residents become certified election inspectors, especially high school and college students.
"Not only would this be an opportunity for them to be paid, but they might get some extra credit," Waters said.
Voters who prefer to vote in person must wait until March 10.
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