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Dems vie for spot on November ballot in Ishpeming Twp.

Aaron Yunker

MARQUETTE — Two Democratic candidates in Tuesday’s primary election are vying for the opportunity to appear on the Nov 3 general election ballot for Ishpeming Township clerk.

The township clerk is responsible for conducting elections and maintaining voter registrations files. The clerk also handles township records, such as: recording and maintaining minutes of all township meetings, township ordinance records, and book of oaths; prepares financial statements, warrants for authorized payments, and maintains the general ledger and serves as the official custodian of all township records.

The Mining Journal asked candidates Carrie Phillips and Aaron Yunker two questions limiting each response to 100 words.

Carrie Phillips

1. In your view what is the most pressing issue for Ishpeming Township at present?

Phillips: At the present time with the pandemic and restrictions in place, the most pressing issue for the Township is conducting safe elections while protecting residents, Township workers and election inspectors.

2. If elected as Ishpeming Township Clerk, how do you propose to address that concern?

Phillips: If elected, I will support absentee voting and assure an efficient and timely process to implement safe voting. The Clerk supports residents exercising their right to vote as an important function of the position. Assuring residents are registered to vote is part of the Clerk’s responsibilities.

Aaron Yunker

1. In your view what is the most pressing issue for Ishpeming Township at present?

In regard to the Office of the Township Clerk, the most pressing issue I would face, if elected, would be related to potential changes in the voting system. In this election cycle, a number of voters are choosing the absentee voter option. In near future elections, this could translate into more voters opting for this on a regular basis. It is also not clear how long we will be coping with Covid-19 affecting our voting options. As clerk, my main focus would be ensuring voter integrity, and that all registered voters in the township will have their votes count.

2. If elected as Ishpeming Township Clerk, how do you propose to address that concern?

To address this issue, the Marquette County clerk and other local township clerks would need consistent, positive communication. This would include participating in, teaching, and developing training sessions for poll workers, as well as voters. Education is a key component. I would provide education to my Electorate on all of their options, and our process of ensuring that only valid, legitimate votes are reliably counted. Clerks need to advocate for a statewide policy that will allow the process to begin sooner, safely, and efficiently. I hope to participate in any committee that is formed to establish these new procedures.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is lbowers@miningjournal.net.

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