OSCODA – Polls will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5 for a special election asking voters for approve two millages in Oscoda Township, one for the township itself and a second for the school system.

One is the renewal of a sinking fund millage for Oscoda Area Schools, albeit at a higher rate than the last approved by voters. The millage language, asking for an increased millage on the sinking fund, which is set to expire next year.

The second, if approved, would be a brand new millage by Oscoda Township to seek funding for road maintenance in the township. Voters who voted in the August election will recognize the millage language as it language that was from a then defeated millage.

Oscoda Schools is asking for 1.23 mills – an increase of .23 mill from a sinking fund millage set to expire – for “the construction or repair of school buildings, for school security improvements, for the acquisition or upgrading of technology and all other purposes authorized by law” as outlined in the millage language.

The 1.23 millage would collect $1.23 on each $1,000 of taxable value for a period of 10 years, from 2021-30. I approved it would generate an estimated $753,000.

The township road millage will ask voters to approve 1.75 mills, or $1.75 per $1,000 of taxable value for six years to generate funds “inclusive for purposes of road maintenance, repairs and improvements.” If approved the millage would generate $520,250 in the first year. This is the same language as the previously defeated millage language from August.

During an Aug. 11 meeting, the Oscoda Township Board of Trustees voted 5-1 to reintroduce the defeated millage onto the November ballot. Opposed was Clerk Rob Nordeen, while Trustee Timothy Cummings was not in attendance.

During the Aug. 6 election millage request garnered 214 votes in favor, with 274 voters against the measure.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson reminded voters to learn more about their new rights ahead of the local election and to cast a ballot.

 The changes include allowing all registered voters to vote by mail at their convenience and for citizens to register to vote up to and on election day at their local clerk’s office.

“Voting is how we demonstrate our power in society,” Benson said. “Last fall, Michigan voters used their power to make voting easier for everyone, by allowing all to vote early and by mail. I encourage all Michigan voters to take advantage of these new rights.”

 Information, including sample ballots and information about voter registration, can be found by visiting Michigan.gov/Vote.

 Citizens may register to vote up until 8 p.m. on election day. If you aren’t registered, or need to update your address, you may do so by appearing in person at your city or township clerk’s office and providing proof of residency in the form of a driver’s license or personal ID card, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document. The document must have your current address and it can be in electronic form.

To register to vote, applicants must be at least 18 years old bye election day and U.S. citizens. Applicants also must be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register for at least 30 days before election day.

All eligible and registered voters in Michigan may request an absentee ballot without providing a reason and vote early. Drop off your ballot application in person at your township or city clerk’s office no later than 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, and you will be given an absentee ballot that you can vote in the office. If you’re registering or updating your address on Election Day at the clerk’s office, you can get an absentee ballot to vote at the office at the same time.

You also can mail the ballot application. Requests to have a ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. If you get your absentee ballot by mail, you can return it by mail or in person, but it must be received by your city or township clerk by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, to count. Keep in mind that USPS mail delivery standards indicate most mail can take up to a week to arrive – so delivering ballot requests and voted ballots is best done in person at this point.