LANSING, Mich. — Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope is proposing to change the number of voting precincts and polling places in the city. It's an effort to save money and a response to fewer people voting in person.
According to the proposal presented to the Election Commission last week, the number of precincts in the city would go down by five for a total of 40. There would also be four new voting locations.
“The City Council would assign the polling locations to each precinct. So it’s a two-step process. But I had some pretty good options because my plan includes the precinct lines and where each voter would be voting,” said Swope.
Swope says the move reflects the rising number of people who vote via absentee ballot.
“A lot of our voters have shifted to voting by mail or coming in-person early so we’re only seeing about a third of registered voters coming into the precinct on Election Day."
Because polling places aren’t being used as much, Swope thinks lots of money can be saved by cutting the number of physical polling places.
He estimates the move will save about $25,000 a year.
The plan still has to be approved by the Election Commission and City Council before it can be implemented.
Swope says other municipalities in the area like Delta Township have already made these changes.
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