www.mybaycity.com January 9, 2007
Rotary Article 1435

Bay County Clerk Cynthia Luczak Speaks on Voting Process

Jan 16 program: SVSU Center for Economic Development

January 9, 2007
By: Stephen Kent


Visit RotaryBayCity.org, web site of the Rotary Club of Bay City, Michigan

CLUB ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • New Meeting Place On January 16, 2007 the club moves its meeting to the Lumber Barons' Charcoal Grill and Brew Pub on the West side at 804 E. Midland St (891-0100).

  • The entire club expresses its thanks to the staff at the Quality Inn (formerly Holiday Inn) who have waited on us and put up with us for so many years! THANK YOU!

  • Dues are Due : January through June dues invoices have been distributed. Please pay promptly! If not paid by January 31, members are considered inactive and a $75 fee is charged to reinstate the membership.

  • Club Web Site: New features are being added regularly. If you need access to the members-only section, click on that button then click on the link to request a password. Visit the site and pass along suggestions to Stephen Kent or Gena Gates: www.RotaryBayCity.org

  • Vocational Days Committee said the deadline for being a sponsor is this week. Contact Ralph Knopp or Griff Acker. The dates are March 20 and 22.

  • International Service Project: The board voted to defer this project until our GSE team makes its trip to Africa this spring.

  • Barb Fisher reported that she heard from Linda Bozsik, our recent Ambassadorial Scholar. Linda is very involved in Rotaract now.


    CLUB NEWS

    Sargent at Arms Jeff Jantz sported his new GI Joe look. Don Carlyon showed off the tie he was given. Little did we know that each year the RI President designs a tie, and this is it for 2007!




    NEW MEMBERS PROPOSED: Dr. John Ley, retired ophthalmologist, proposed by Al Hicks; and Ron Bloomfield, curator of Bay County Historical Museum, proposed by Eric Jylha.


    Upcoming Programs

  • THIS WEEK'S PROGRAM Jan 16: SVSU Center for Economic Development

  • Jan 23 Robert Bellman - State of the City

  • Jan 30 Hidden Harvest

  • Feb 6 Karolyn Karl, AmeriCorps, on groundwater and pollution prevention.

  • Feb 13 Bay Regional Medical Center, Alice Gerard, President.

  • Feb 20 Girl Scouts, Kerry Allen, Director

  • Feb 27 Lou Anna Simon, President, Michigan State University



    LAST WEEK'S PROGRAM: Bay County Clerk Cynthia Luczak spoke about the process of voting in Bay County.

    Before getting to the topic of voting, Luczak related that the job of public servant has its own special moments. Each Spring and Fall they get calls for varmint removal to get squirrels and coons out of chimneys. Then there's the calls like the woman who complained "I have bad gas". The Clerk's office does its best to help these folks. It's easier when "bad gas" turns out to be natural gas into the house.

    One of the Clerk's biggest jobs is managing voting for the county. By law there are four elections a year. "Like a wedding", said Luczak, "you spend three months getting ready and it's all over in one day. The process never ends."

    bay county has some 78,000 registered voters. Of that number only 3,147 are between the age of 18 and 21. Luczak suggested that educating these young folks might be a good project. Many don't know that although you must be 18 to vote, you can register at 17 if you'll be 18 on election day.

    There is a legislative move now to change the absentee voting rules to NOT require a reason for getting an absentee ballot. If this is done then it may well increase the number of voters.

    With the enactment of the Help Americans Vote Act (HAVA) several years ago, all states need to maintain a Qualified Voter File (QVF). Michigan was one of the first to comply and leads the nation. Other states come here to see how our system works. Of the state's 81 counties, Bay County has the best record with an error rate of just .016%.

    When questioned about the accuracy of the voting machines used in Michigan, Luczak noted that our machines use a paper ballot which is scanned. In the event of a recount the original paper ballot is hand counted. The machines have proven to be very accurate. Almost all problems these days are in states where there is no paper audit trail. Only three companies, worldwide, manufacture voting machines.

    The voting process and the machines have many checks and balances. The Board of Canvassers is responsible for insuring that the vote is accurate.

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