Jessica Mathews /

New rights for Livingston County voters and others across the state were the focus of a town hall event last night.

Since the passage of Proposal 2 in 2022, new voting rights will be implemented in 2024. The League of Women Voters Livingston County held a discussion Wednesday night in partnership with the Howell Carnegie District Library to educate the public about Proposal 2, their new rights, and changes.

Some changes include the right to vote early in every statewide and federal election; the right to sign-up to become a permanent mail voter; the right to pre-paid return postage on absentee ballots and applications; and the right to an enhanced tracking system for absentee ballots and applications.

The event featured Howell City Clerk Deanna Robson, who discussed various topics. She stressed that voter lists are secure, and also explained how they’re maintained.

One change next year will be early voting sites, which are subject to most of the same requirements as Election Day polling places. It was stated they must be fully accessible, allow members of the public to observe, and maintain all voted ballots in sealed containers at the end of the day.

Those sites will also be able to serve voters from more than one city or township, and more voters than an Election Day polling location.

Some communities will be working together to offer early voting. Cities and townships have the option to offer their own early voting site as a single municipality; or with other cities and townships within their county, or the county itself.

The sites were said to be a significant undertaking for municipal clerks as they would require more time, money, and resources. To reduce that burden, municipalities can work together to offer early voting.

Robson stated that the City will be working with Howell and Cohoctah Townships to offer early voting at the LESA building. Putnam and Unadilla Township were also said to be joining forces.

It was also noted that there will be a need for more poll workers for next year’s elections.

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan, grassroots group that works to protect and expand voting rights.

A link to a video of the town hall event is provided.