Kentwood, Wyoming not surprised by uptick in voter registrations

A Joint Task Force Guantanamo Trooper fills out an absentee ballot for the upcoming presidential election, Oct. 8, 2008.  Every JTF Trooper has the opportunity to register and vote while serving on U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay via absentee ballot. JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detained enemy combatants, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released. The JTF conducts intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination for the protection of detainees and personnel working in JTF Guantanamo facilities and in support of the Global War on Terror. JTF Guantanamo provides support to the Office of Military Commissions, to law enforcement and to war crimes investigations. The JTF conducts planning for and, on order, responds to Caribbean mass migration operations.

If you are planning to vote in the upcoming Nov. 8 election you need to have registered to do so by today.


As voter registration comes to its final hours, both the cities of Kentwood and Wyoming are reporting — a not surprising — increase in register voters.


“With a national election, we always see an increase in voter registration,” said Wyoming City Clerk Kelli VandenBerg. In an average election, the City of Wyoming usually has about 48,000 — 49,000 registered voters. This year, the city has about 51,500 registered voters in 30 precincts.


“We always see an uptick in the national election because there is a big push to get people registered,” VandenBerg said, adding that groups often canvas events like the recent ArtPrize in downtown Grand Rapids to help get people registered.


Kentwood City Clerk Dan Kasunic agreed with VandenBerg stating that the national election usually brings in a higher number of registered voters. As of Friday, Kasunic could not give specific voter numbers for the city since residents are able to register at a number of locations including the Secretary of State’s office. He said registrations from other locations will be coming in over the next several days.


Kentwood has seen an increase in voters over the past several years. Because a precinct is only allow to have 2,999 voters, Kentwood is beginning the process to split some of its precincts to form two more. However, this will not impact the Nov. 8 election with the city maintaining its current 16 precincts for this year.


mail-in-ballot-17738476_108900_ver1-0_320_240As for absentee ballots, Kasunic said the city has about 3,600 and is well on its way to averaging the 4,000 — 5,000 it usually does for a national general election.


The City of Wyoming was more than 3,000 absentee ballots with VandenBerg saying the city is on track to hit the usual 5,000 it has had for a national general election as well. Absentee ballots can be mailed out up until Saturday, Nov. 5. Monday, Nov. 7, is the last day a person can vote on an absentee ballot in a municpality’s clerk’s office.


To receive an absentee ballot you must meet one of the following requirements: be 60 years or older; are physically disabled and as a result, you cannot vote on Election Day without another person’s assistance; you can not vote on Election Day because of the tenets of your religion; you can not vote on Election Day in the precinct where you reside because you are an election precinct inspector in another precinct; you are absent or expect to be absent from the township or city in which you live when polls are open; or you are confined in jail awaiting arraignment or trial.


You have until 5 p.m. today to register to vote as most offices close at that time. To register you need to be a U.S. citizen, 18-years-old by Election Day, a resident of Michigan and a resident of the city or township where you are applying to register to vote. To check and see if you are registered, visit