Thursday, September 2, 2021

Canton Clerk Siegrist chosen Township Clerk of the Year

Michael Siegrist
Canton Township Clerk Michael Siegrist had a very special lunch date yesterday.

Siegrist was to be one of the guests of honor at an awards luncheon in Frankenmuth when Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was expected to present him with the 2021 Township Clerk of the Year award.

“I am truly honored and humbled by both my nomination and election as Township Clerk of the year. We do everything we can for the residents and voters in Canton, and I never expected to win an award for delivering the kind of service they deserve,” Siegrist said. 

Siegrist first learned of his selection for the honor last week when he was notified by representatives of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks. He said he was very, very surprised as he is one of the youngest clerks to ever receive the honor. 

First elected as Canton Township Clerk in 2016, Siegrist has earned multiple professional certifications and has a master's degree in taxation along with a MiPMC, from the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks (MAMC). He was nominated for the honor by four different individuals, according to a spokesman from the organization.

Siegrist has served on the Canton Public Library Board (elected 2008) and the Plymouth Canton Community School Board of Education (elected 2014). He also serves as the Treasurer for the Association of Wayne County Clerks, is a voting member of the MAMC Legislative Committee, and was recently elected to the MAMC Board of Directors.

In naming Siegrist, representatives of the state group noted the diverse population of Canton.

“Siegrist has worked to ensure voting precincts are staffed with multilingual inspectors to appropriately assist this diverse population,” organization officials said. “After the approval of Proposal 3 in 2018 Siegrist worked diligently to educate his voters of their new rights and expanded the permanent absentee voter application list from 8,200 voters to 35,000 voters,” the spokesman noted.

“I love election administration.  I love accessible government that is relevant to the needs and demands of the general public.  It is true public service and a sacred honor.  It is this philosophy that drives my initiative and desire to work in this field,” Siegrist said.

His office also recently won a Clearinghouse Award from the United States Election Assistance Commission for “Outstanding Innovation in Election Cybersecurity and Technology.”

“It is a team effort, and I couldn’t be here without my awesome staff and the hundreds of poll workers who ran last year’s election,” Seigrist said. 

The MAMC is a professional organization that exists to “promote, enhance, and encourage the professional development and standing of municipal clerks through cooperation, communication, education and training by utilizing seminars, institutes and meetings; to promote and encourage improvement of methods and procedures of duties performed by clerks and to address legislative matters relating to the municipal clerk's responsibilities,” according to the organization website.

Of the eight states that administer elections on the local level, Michigan is one of the largest with 280 city clerks and 1,240 township clerks. The Michigan elections system is administered by 1,603 county and local election officials making it one of the most decentralized in the nation. There are an additional 257 village clerks in Michigan, represented by the MAMC.