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Voting guidelines in place for state's 2016 primary and general elections

Dear Resident:

When voters throughout Michigan went to the polls March 8, they had to declare whether they wanted to vote for a Democratic or Republican presidential candidate before they received a ballot.

While voters might say it is nobody else's business which party they support, it is part of the process when it comes to primary elections.

Voters will again have to choose one party's ballot when they return to the polls Aug. 2, which is the primary for the Nov. 8 general election. The purpose of the Aug. 2 primary is to reduce the number of candidates from each party and in each race to one for the general election.

In nonpartisan races, like for judges, the field will be narrowed to two candidates for each position - or double the number for the total number of spots available (six candidates for three spots, for example).

Turnout is expected to be strong for the Nov. 8 general election because of the presidential race. In that election, it will not be necessary for voters to declare a party to receive a ballot.

Once the field for the primary, then the general election, is set, it will be posted on the Wayne County Clerk's Election Division website, The primary election field will be finalized April 22.

For those who are not registered to vote but want to, the deadlines are July 5 for the Aug. 2 primary and Oct. 11 for the Nov. 8 general election. Voters can register at the county or city clerk's offices, a Secretary of State office or at

Voters must be at least 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States, and the home address at which they register must match the one on their driver's license.

Irma Clark-Coleman
Wayne County Commission