DEARBORN — Majority immigrant cities like Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Hamtramck tend to see a decrease in residents every summer, since most community members choose this season to visit their families overseas.
In election years, such as this year, civic-minded residents might wonder if they’ll miss the opportunity to vote in the primary elections. The answer is no.
According to the acting Dearborn City Clerk Lola Isiminger, special services are provided for overseas civilian and military voters that allow them to vote while abroad or otherwise outside their communities.
“As of this date, we have issued 3,030 absentee ballots for the August election,” Isiminger said.
Those who’ll be away from home but want to vote on Aug 8 need to download and fill out a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form available at www.fvap.gov/michigan. The form needs to be sent in advance, so that it can be used to register to vote or to specify the means they want to use to vote.
After completing the form, a voter needs to check the applicable box for email, fax or mail and send it to his or her city clerk’s office through one of those services. He or she will receive an absentee ballot and should return it through email or fax at any time up to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
The status of a requested absentee voter ballot can be checked on Michigan.gov/sos/ under Michigan Voter Information Center, where it will appear after filling out the appropriate boxes.
If they need help or want to ask any questions, they can hit “Contact SOS”, also under the Michigan Voter Information Center tab in the Elections in Michigan section.
According to state election rules, which can be read on the website, only voters protected under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) qualify to use the FPCA and receive an absentee ballot by e-mail or fax.
The covered voters are uniformed service members on active duty outside their city or township of residence. Voters can be inside or outside the United States.
Also, those serving in the Merchant Marine and absent from their city or township of residence, whether inside or out of the United States, can also use e-mail or fax to send in their ballots.
Spouses or dependents of uniformed service members or Merchant Marine members away from home because of the active duty or service of the members also qualify. They don’t have to be overseas to send in their absentee ballots.
Regular civilian voters who are outside the United States, but eligible to vote in Michigan, can submit an absentee ballot by e-mail or fax.
Candidates for mayor in the Aug. 8 primary election are Dearborn City Council President Pro-Tem Tom Tafelski; businessman Hakim Fakhoury; Edward Binkley; financial advisor Jim Parrelly and incumbent Mayor Jack O’Reilly Jr.
Candidates for Dearborn City Council are Council President Susan Dabaja; Councilmen Robert Abraham, David Bazzy, Brian O’Donnell and Mike Sareini; Dearborn Public Schools Communications Specialist Leslie Herrick; entrepreneur Regan Ford; businessman Sean Green; former Dearborn police officer Kenneth Paris; Wayne County Reserve Deputy Sheriff Commander Ramez Haidar; Erin Byrnes, lead for Democratic Engagement at the University of Michigan; businessman Rifaat Hacham; substitute teacher Nada Al-Hanooti, ICU nurse Fayrouz Bazzi; Sharon Dulmage, R.N. and Ziad Abdulmalik.
Only 14 candidates will advance to the general election on November 7. Councilman Mark Shooshanian is not seeking re-election.
City Clerk candidates are former state Rep. George Darany (D-Dearborn); John Schimizzi; Nofila Haidar; Ameer Abusalah and Adam Alee.