Register to vote by this Monday

There’s no need to panic yet, but you don’t have much time to register for the Feb. 26 election in Michigan.

Michigan residents have until Monday, Jan. 28, to register in order to vote in the election, said Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

“I encourage everyone who is qualified to vote but not yet registered to set aside a few minutes and do so,” said Johnson, Michigan’s chief election officer. “Voting is your chance to have your voice heard on Election Day and participate in one of our greatest freedoms.”

School districts and municipalities in 42 counties are holding elections.

Locally, Iron Mountain Public Schools and Dickinson County will be holding elections on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Iron Mountain Schools is holding a School Improvement Bond Proposition.

The school district wants to borrow $9.5 million and issue general obligation bonds to improve school facilities, technology systems and equipment.

The estimated millage that will be levied to pay the proposed bonds in the first year is 2.27 mills. The maximum number of years the proposed bonds may be outstanding is not more than 18.

The estimated simple average annual millage that will be required to retire the proposed bonds over 18 years is 3.80 mills annually.

Additionally, Dickinson County is conducting an Enhanced 911 Millage vote on Feb. 26.

Voters will be asked to approve 0.4 mills for a period of three years to operate and equip an Enhanced 911 system at the Dickinson County Correctional Center.

The polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To register, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and be U.S. citizens. Applicants must also be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register.

Voters may register by mail or in person at their county, city or township clerk’s office or by visiting any Secretary of State office.

The mail-in form is available at

First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60 years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

Area residents can check their registration status at Residents can also find information on absentee voting, Michigan’s voter identification requirement, how to use voting equipment and how to contact their local clerk.

In addition, they will find a map to their local polling place and a sample ballot. A mobile version is also available at the same website.

Voters who qualify may choose to cast an absentee ballot. As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee ballot if you are:

– Age 60 or older.

– Physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another.

– Expecting to be absent from the community in which you are registered for the entire time the polls will be open on Election Day.

– In jail awaiting arraignment or trial.

– Unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons.

– Appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

Those who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23.

Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25.

Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, Feb. 25, must fill out the ballot in the clerk’s office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.

Remember, voters will be asked to provide identification when at the polls on Election Day.

They will be asked to present valid photo ID, such as a Michigan driver’s license or identification card. Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or failed to bring it with them to the polls can still vote.

They will be required to sign a brief affidavit stating that they’re not in possession of photo ID. Their ballot will be included with all others and counted on Election Day.

Voters who don’t have a Michigan driver’s license or identification card can show the following forms of photo ID, as long as they are current:

– Driver’s license or personal identification card issued by another state.

– Federal or state government-issued photo identification.

– U.S. passport.

– Military identification card with photo.

– Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, such as a college or university.

– Tribal identification card with photo.

Residents who do not have internet access may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).

Be sure to register and vote on Feb. 26.