Chelsea District Library Voting Resource Page
Chelsea District Library joins the American Library Association in its commitment to provide accurate, unbiased voting information to our community!
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. Michigan polling hours are 7am–8pm.
The Michigan Voter Information Center offers residents information about ballots, polling places, voter registration, absentee ballots, and more!
The handy Vote 411 website gives personalized voting information! Register to vote, check your voter registration status, or find out what’s on your ballot!
This guide tackles some of the most important issues facing older Americans ahead of the 2020 election—including how to safely vote during a pandemic, Medicare, Social Security, the future of prescription drug prices, and more.
Note: Chelsea District Library offers this site as a voting information resource and does not endorse any of the paid services offered by RetireGuide.
City & Township Clerk Offices
The COVID-19 pandemic has people unsure about in-person voting, but Michigan voters have another option. Voters are eligible for absentee ballots. Contact your city or township clerk for complete details on how to apply for an absentee ballot and other voting questions.
City of Chelsea
Laura Kaiser, Chelsea City Clerk 305 S. Main Street, Suite 100 Chelsea, Michigan 48118
Debra Ceo, Clerk
6880 Dexter Pinckney Road Dexter, Michigan 48130
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
Wednesday by appointment
Elaine Bater, Lima Township Clerk
12172 Jackson Road
Dexter, Michigan 48130
P.O. Box 59
Chelsea, Michigan 48118
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 10am–1pm
Linda Reilly, Township Clerk
17751 N Territorial Road
Chelsea, Michigan 48118
17751 N. Territorial Road
Chelsea, Michigan 48118
Tuesday and Thursday 10am–1pm
Election Books for Kids
Miss Jessica shares the best of the best nonfiction books about voting and elections for students in grades K-8! Find a book that piques your interest, place it on hold, and pick it up curbside!
100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage!
Women’s Suffrage in Washtenaw County, by Laura Brown, CDL Adult Librarian
In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution gave women nationwide the right to vote. Even though by 1900 Michigan women who owned property had limited suffrage—the right to vote on bond issues and in school related elections—it was a long journey to get votes for all women in all elections.
Women’s Suffrage, the national movement with the objective of giving women full voting rights, began in the mid-1800s. Along this journey toward equal representation, public speeches were important to the suffragist cause. Washtenaw County had many talented speakers, including University of Michigan and Michigan State Normal College professors. Ann Arbor was also a stop on the national lecture circuit, hosting notables such as British suffragists Sylvia Pankhurst and Jane Addams.
Women’s suffrage ultimately gained public acceptance through the advocacy of outside organizations like women’s clubs, temperance supporters, and labor unions. The most prominent such group in Washtenaw County was the Grange, a farmers’ educational and social improvement organization with both male and female members in rural communities.
In spite of these advocacy efforts, in Michigan’s 1912 statewide election, suffrage lost by 760 votes and by a mere 86 votes in Washtenaw County. Another vote for suffrage in 1913 was opposed by the newly created Michigan chapter of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. It helped to vote down suffrage once again, this time by 1,064 votes in Washtenaw County. (Total Washtenaw County population in 1910 was almost 40,000 people.)
In March 1913, the Congressional Union led a massive march in Washington, D.C., on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. The three Klager sisters from Ann Arbor, two of whom were librarians, marched in the parade.
Though more states had passed suffrage by the time the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Michigan still had not. In 1918, Michigan’s male voters had to rationalize going to war “to make the world safe for democracy” at a time when half the American population did not have the right to vote. To right this irony, many Michigan suffragists continued their efforts to gain voting rights while also working to support the war. Ultimately, America’s commitment of troops in WWI benefited the suffrage movement as young men bound for colleges in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti were sent off to fight. After observing women’s activities in the war effort, many men felt that female citizens had “earned” the right to vote.
On November 5, 1918, Michigan’s male voters gave women the right to vote in state elections. In 1919, President Wilson called for Congressional passage of a national suffrage amendment as a war measure. The 19th Amendment was ratified by the required 36 states on August 26, 1920. After a very long wait, liberty finally awoke!
Women’s Suffrage photo taken sometime in 1912. Photo credit: Ypsilanti Historical Society. The Equal Suffrage Association was formed in June 1912, by Julia Trowbridge Quirk, wife of Daniel Quirk, Jr.