(City of Ferndale Press Release, Oct. 29, 2013)
Voters in Ferndale head to the polls on Tuesday, November 5, to elect a mayor, 2 council members, and 4 library directors. Also on the ballot is a proposal to amend the City Code to allow use, possession or transfer of less than an ounce of marijuana on private property by persons 21 years of age or older.
Based on greater than usual requests for absent voter ballots than in recent local elections, City Clerk Cherilynn Brown is preparing for voter turnout significantly in excess of the local election average of 14%. “Comparing how many AV ballots we have issued to this point with previous elections, we could be looking at closer to 40% voter turnout,” Brown said.
Voters in Ferndale experienced long wait times at the polls last November. Brown calls that unacceptable and has worked with a task force of residents, poll workers, campaign workers and city officials to improve the efficiency of the process. Brown and the task force determined the city had to recruit more poll workers, give them more training, and provide voters with more information. “We have added 23 workers to our core group of 35 veterans,” Brown reported, “and Deputy Clerk Marne McGrath is conducting computer labs almost daily to give workers hands-on training with the laptop computers used as electronic poll books.”
Brown is mandating additional training for all workers which will focus on the most efficient ways to move voters through the numerous legally required steps to obtain a ballot. Customer service will be emphasized with voting ambassadors attending to the needs of voters waiting in line. They will be able to look up a voter’s registration to make sure they are in the correct precinct, will have sample ballots available, answer questions and assist voters with special needs.
Polls are open 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. The busiest times are before and after work and at lunchtime. Voters who anticipate being outside of Ferndale on election day, or who are 60 years of age or older, or are physically unable to go to the polls without assistance may apply for an absentee ballot. The City Clerk’s office is open Monday – Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and will also be open on Saturday, November 2 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Voters may obtain an AV ballot in person at the Clerk’s office until 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 4.
Previous election stories, including video of prior forums can be found at: