If you're planning on voting absentee during the Nov. 6 general election, you're not alone.
With less than two weeks left to go before the Nov. 6 election, almost 4,000 Birmingham residents have requested absentee ballots as of Wednesday evening, according to City Clerk Laura Broski.
In total, Broski said the City Clerk's Office has issued 3,829 absentee ballots so far this year, and of those, 1,543 have been returned — a 40 percent return rate.
With presidential elections typically attracting a larger turnout, Birmingham voters will have a long a ballot to contend with when they head to the polls this year. Besides picking between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, there is a slate of state proposals and various levels of representation in Washington, Lansing and Pontiac.
In addition, Birmingham voters will be deciding on a city charter amendment and voting for two members of the Birmingham Board of Education.
While Broski said she doesn't have any predictions about this year, she noted voter turnout during the 2008 presidential election — when Obama challenged John McCain — was 79 percent in Birmingham. Of those voters, she said 4,772 voted by absentee ballot.
Meanwhile, during last year's November election — when Birmingham residents voted on City Commission, school board and library board seats, on top of a schools millage — the clerk's office issued 1,749 absentee ballots and 1,511 were returned.
There's still time to vote absentee
Voters looking to vote absentee need only apply for an absentee ballot at the clerk's office by mail or fax, or request an application by phone or email. A ballot will be mailed to you immediately.
All ballots must be returned to the clerk's office by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Just remember: if you have registered to vote by mail, you will not be eligible for an absentee ballot until you have voted at the polls at least once.
If you're worried about the long ballot but don't want to necessarily vote absentee, Broski encourages voters to visit the city's website to view a sample ballot, which all the language on the Nov. 6 ballot.
For more information, visit www.bhamgov.org/voting.