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Counties, voters prep for Tuesday’s election

ESCANABA — Counties in the area are gearing up for Michigan’s upcoming primary election, which will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Delta County Clerk Nancy Przewrocki said she expects many voters to use absentee ballots next week.

“I think we’re going to have a larger turnout than we normally do because of the absentee ballots,” she said.

She said this will likely lead to fewer people voting in person at their precincts Tuesday.

People who are interested in filling out an absentee ballot but have not yet applied for one still have some ways to do so.

“They can get it in person from the clerk through Saturday (today), and they can also get an emergency absentee ballot on Monday before the election, but they have to fill it out at the clerk’s office,” Przewrocki said.

People planning to vote in person next week will have to keep some safety measures in mind due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We would request that they wear a mask for the safety of our election workers and the other voters,” Przewrocki said.

They should observe social distancing guidelines, as well.

In-person voters are asked to bring a photo ID with them to their precinct Tuesday. According to Przewrocki, they can also bring their own pen.

“It has to be black or blue,” she said.

As part of efforts to get ready for the election, Przewrocki said a public accuracy test took place in Delta County on Tuesday, July 21.

“Everything went well for that,” she said.

Przewrocki voiced her appreciation of those who were willing to work in the upcoming election.

“With that virus out there, it has scared a lot of people, so I want to thank the election workers and the clerks for doing such a fine job in preparing for the election,” she said.

DELTA COUNTY

In Delta County, most races on the ballot for the Aug. 4 election will not be contested. One race where some voters will have to make a decision is the race for U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District.

“There’s a race on the Democratic side of the ticket between Linda O’Dell and Dana Ferguson,” Przewrocki said.

Incumbent Jack Bergman is running ­unopposed on the Republican side of the ballot.

Voters in the townships of Baldwin, Bay de Noc, Brampton, Cornell, Ensign, Fairbanks, Garden, Maple Ridge, Masonville and Nahma will also choose the Republican candidate for the Delta County Board of Commissioners’ First District Tuesday.

“That’s between incumbent (Gerard) Tatrow … and John Malnar,” Przewrocki said of the race.

No candidates are running for the position on the Democratic side of the ballot.

In Wells Township’s first precinct, voters will choose two Democratic candidates from a field of three vying to serve as county convention delegates. These candidates include William Charon, Bart Stupak and Laurie Stupak.

A number of proposals will appear on Delta County ballots next week. In the cities of Escanaba and Gladstone and the townships of Brampton, Ensign, Ford River and Masonville, voters will determine the fate of a five-year millage renewal request for Delta Area Transportation Authority (DATA).

If voters approve the renewal request, a tax of up to 0.6 mills ($0.60 per $1,000 of taxable value) would be renewed on all properties in Escanaba and Gladstone from 2021 to 2025, inclusive. A tax of up to 0.5 mills ($0.50 per $1,000 of taxable value) would be renewed on properties in the townships included in the renewal request for the same period of time.

The millage’s renewal would allow DATA to continue providing its transportation services in these areas. If approved, the millage would generate an estimated $187,126 in its first year in Escanaba.

Cornell Township voters will decide whether or not to increase the limitation on the amount of taxes that may be imposed on taxable property by one mill ($1 per $1,000 of taxable value) from 2020 to 2024, inclusive, to fund road improvements in the township. If approved, the millage would raise about $23,775 in its first year.

In Ensign Township, voters will be asked whether previously-approved expired tax limitation increases of 1.5 mills ($1.50 per $1,000 of taxable values) should be renewed and levied from 2021 to 2026, inclusive, to fund fire purposes, the fire department and equipment. The millage renewal would raise about $47,107 it its first year.

In the townships of Fairbanks, Ford River, Garden and Nahma, as well as Inwood Township in Schoolcraft County, residents will vote on whether or not to approve a sinking fund millage proposal for Big Bay de Noc School District. If approved, the proposal would increase the limitation on the amount of taxes that can be assessed on all property in the district by 1.9 mills ($1.90 per $1,000 of taxable value) from 2021 to 2027, inclusive. The millage, which would create a sinking fund for the purchase of real estate for sites for and the construction or repair of school buildings — as well as school security improvements, acquiring or upgrading technology and all other purposes authorized by law — would raise about $310,000 in 2020 if approved.

SCHOOLCRAFT COUNTY

Democratic voters in Schoolcraft County will also be asked to choose between Dana Ferguson and Linda O’Dell as their candidate for the position of U.S. Representative for Michigan’s first congressional district. Meanwhile, Republican voters in the county will choose between Matthew Goss and Melody Wagner as their party’s state representative candidate for the 109th District, with incumbent Sara Cambensy running unopposed as the Democratic candidate for the position.

In the townships of Doyle, Germfask, Manistique, Mueller and Seney, incumbent Craig Reiter and challenger Alan Kilar are vying to be District One’s Democratic candidate for a county commissioner position. No Republican candidates are running for the position.

The race for Inwood Township supervisor is contested on the Democratic side of the ballot, as well. Both Renata Kitzman and Kelly Silkworth are running for the candidacy, with no Republican opposition listed.

Voters across the county will be asked if they are in favor of increasing the limitation on the total amount of taxes that can be imposed on all taxable property in Schoolcraft County by 0.3 mills ($0.30 per $1,000 of taxable value) from 2021 to 2025, inclusive. The millage would levy $151,221 in its first year if approved, which would support library services in the county.

An additional county-wide millage request will ask Schoolcraft County voters if they are in favor of renewing a millage of 0.2 mills ($0.20 per $1,000 of taxable value) on the taxable value of all property in the county from 2021 to 2025, inclusive. The renewal would fund the Schoolcraft County Veterans Relief Fund and the full-time operation of the Schoolcraft County Veterans’ Service Office if approved. About $70,668 would be generated by the millage in its first calendar year post-renewal.

In Inwood Township, voters will decide whether or not to renew a tax limitation increase of 1 mill ($1 per $1,000 of taxable value) from 2021-2030, inclusive. The millage would provide funds for general operations and fire protection in the township. It would generate $43,038 in revenue in the first calendar year of its renewal.

MENOMINEE COUNTY

On the Republican side of the ballot, voters will decide whether Joe Grinsteiner or Patrick Armbrust should run for the position of county sheriff in the general election. The winner will run against Democratic candidate Michael Holmes, who is currently the county’s undersheriff.

Voters in Daggett Township will make a decision on the township’s fire department millage and road maintenance millage. Both millages were previously approved at a rate of 1.5 mills ($1.50 per $1,000 of taxable value). The fire department millage was reduced to 1.4898 mills by a required millage rollback, and the road maintenance millage was reduced to 1.4708 mills for the same reason.

If the renewal is approved, both millages would be renewed at and increased up to the original amount of 1.5 mills, with the fire department millage levied from 2021-2025, inclusive and the road maintenance millage levied from 2020-2024, inclusive. The millages would each raise an estimated $31,000 in their first year if renewed.

In the townships of Meyer, Spalding, Gourley and Harris, voters will determine the fate of a requested operating millage renewal for North Central Area Schools. If approved, the proposal would allow the district to continue levying its operating millage at a rate of 18.883 mills ($18.88 per $1,000 of taxable value) from 2021-2024, inclusive. The district would collect about $803,359 if the millage is renewed and 18 mills are levied in its first year.

A millage for the Nadeau Township Fire Department is also up for renewal on the Aug. 4 ballot. Voters will be asked whether or not they are in favor of renewing the millage at a rate of one mill ($1 per $1,000 of taxable value) from 2020-2023, inclusive, to fund the operation of and new equipment for the department. If approved, the millage would raise about $44,872 in its first year.

In Stephenson Township, voters will decide for or against the renewal and increase of the township’s fire and emergency medical services millage. The millage was previously levied at a rate of one mill ($1 per $1,000 of taxable value). If approved, the millage proposal would renew the millage at this rate and impose an increase of .2 mills ($0.20 per $1,000 of taxable value). Both the millage and the increase would be levied from 2021-2024, inclusive. Combined, they would raise an estimated $29,760 in their first year.

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