Thursday, July 16, 2020

City clerk offers absentee ballot assistance

Romulus City Clerk Ellen Craig-Bragg made it very clear at the last regular meeting of the members of the council, the law allows one ballot for each voter.
Craig-Bragg explained to the council members that her office had received several calls from area residents who were somewhat confused about the number of forms they had received to request an absentee ballot for the upcoming primary election Aug. 4.
“Some residents have received two or three of the requests and are understandably confused and frustrated,” Craig-Bragg explained. 
“There is one ballot per voter. If anyone has already tuned in a request for an absentee ballot, another one is not needed,” she said. Craig-Bragg explained that the Secretary of State sent out requests to registered voters so they could apply for absentee ballots in light of the pandemic and that several candidates had also sent out the requests which have confused some voters.

“One ballot per voter,” Craig-Bragg reiterated. “If you sent your request in, we will respond. If you have questions, call our office and we will be happy to help you,” she said.
Craig-Bragg also reminded voters than they must only vote for one party and that there are two sides to the ballot. “If you make an error or spoil the ballot, call us, we can help you,” she said. “There is a process in place for spoiled ballots and our office is available,” she said.
In response to a question from Council member Celeste Roscoe, Craig-Bragg clarified that the Aug. 4 election is a primary. Roscoe wanted to know if this was the ballot on which the candidates for the expiring judicial term at the 34th District Court would appear. Craig-Bragg assured Roscoe that this was the election in which the candidates for election to the judicial position would be selected and that the names of the top two vote getters would then appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot.
Vying for the position at the 34th District Court are incumbent David M. Parrott, Alexandria Taylor, Robert P. Coutts, John R. Day and Lisa Martin. The 34th District Court handles the cases from Belleville, Van Buren, Romulus and Sumpter Township along with out-county arraignments from Wayne County.
Parrott, the incumbent, is completing his 18th year at the court. The 60-year-old Van Buren Township resident was elected in 2002, 2008 and 2014. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 1985 from Wayne State University Law School and his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Coutts is a 21-year resident of the area and currently resides in Van Buren Township. He has a five-star rating with and has practiced law for 30 years after earing his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Toledo College of Law and his bachelors degree at Eastern Michigan University. He formerly served on the Van Buren Public Schools Board of Education. This is his second bid for election to the court.
Day, 65, is a long-time resident of New Boston with a law practice in Belleville. He earned his law degree, cum laude, at the University of Detroit School of Law following his bachelor of arts degree with high honors at Michigan State University.
Day has served as the Belleville city attorney, the Belleville prosecutor and the Belleville Area District Library attorney.
Martin, 48, has been a resident of Van Buren Township for 13 years. She earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. She was appointed as an attorney magistrate at the 34th district Court in May of 2018 where she served until February of this year. This is her second bid for election to the judicial bench at the court.
Taylor, 39, is a resident of Romulus, and has been a resident of the court jurisdiction her entire live. She is the manager of Taylor Law Firm and adjunct professor at University of Detroit Mercy Law School.
She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Michigan State University, and a master of business administration from Eastern Michigan University.
She currently serves as the chair of the Romulus Charter Commission.
The two successful candidates will face off on the Nov. 3 ballot for the six-year term at the court.