Chapter 3
Qualification of Electors:
Section 3.1 The residents of the city having the qualifications of electors in the State of Michigan shall be electors of the city.
Election Procedure:
Section 3.2 The election of all city officers shall be on a non-partisan basis. The general election statutes shall apply to and control, as near as may be, all procedures relating to registration and city elections except as such statutes relate to political parties or partisan procedure and except as otherwise provided in this charter.
The Clerk shall give public notice of the time and place of holding each city election and of the officers to be elected and the questions to be voted upon in the same manner as is required by statute for the giving of public notice of general elections in the state.
The polls at all elections shall be opened and closed at the time prescribed by law for the opening and closing of polls at state elections, subject to the statutory right of the Council to adjust these hours to local time.
Wards and Precincts:
Section 3.3 The City of Reed City shall consist of one Ward. The Council shall from time to time establish by Ordinance convenient election precincts The wards into which the City is divided on the effective date of this Charter Amendment shall be the precincts of the City until otherwise provided for by the Council.
Regular City Elections:
Section 3.4 Regular city elections shall coincide with the State General elections on even numbered years, commencing with the year 1976.
Special Elections:
Section 3.4 Special City Elections shall be held when called by resolution of the Council at least 55 days in advance of such elections or when required by this charter or statute. Any resolution calling a Special Election shall set forth the purpose of such election. No more special elections shall be called in any one year than permitted by statute.
Elective Officers and Terms of Office:
Section 3.6 The elective officials of the city shall be a City Council of seven members and two Justices of the Peace. At each regular city election, four councilmen and two Justices of the Peace shall be elected on a single ballot Each elector shall be entitled to vote for not more than four candidates and two Justices of the Peace. The three candidates for councilmen receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected for a term of four years and the candidate receiving the fourth highest vote shall be designated as councilman at large and shall be elected for a term of two years; all such terms to commence on the Monday next following the date of such election.
Four councilmen shall be elected at the 1975 regular city election. The term of such councilman receiving the least number of votes shall expire on the Monday following the 1976 general election, the terms of the remaining three councilmen shall expire on the Monday following the 1978 general election.
In accordance with Section 16.2 there shall be elected two Justices of the Peace for terms of four years commencing on the 4th day of July next following their election.* The office of Justice of the Peace has been abolished by Michigan Statute and superseded by the District Court System. (Act 154 of P.A. 1968)*
Section 3.7 The method of nomination of all candidates for the city elections shall be by petition. Such petitions for each candidate shall be signed by not less than twenty nor more than forty registered electors of the city No person shall sign his name to a greater number of petitions for any one office than there are persons to be elected to said office at the following regular city election. Where the signature of any individual appears on more petitions than he is so permitted to sign such signatures shall be counted only to the extent he is permitted to sign in the order of the respective dates and hour of filing the petitions containing such signatures.
Nominating petitions shall be filed with the City Clerk by 4 p.m. the 15th Tuesday prior to the November general election The Clerk shall publish notice of the last day so permitted for filing nomination petitions at least one week before, and not more than three weeks before, such last day.
(Amended March 19, 2018)
Form of Petition:
Section 3.8 The form of petition shall be substantially as that designated by the Secretary of State for the nomination of non-partisan judicial officers. A supply of official petition forms shall be provided and maintained by the Clerk.
Approval of Petition:
Section 3.9 The Clerk shall accept only nomination petitions which conform with the form provided and maintained by him, and which contain the required number of valid signatures for candidates having the qualifications required for elective city offices by this charter. All petitions shall be accompanied by the affidavit of qualifications provided for in Section 5.1. When a petition is filed by persons other than the person whose name appears thereon as a candidate, it may be accepted only when accompanied by the written consent of the candidate.
The Clerk shall, forthwith after filing of a petition, notify in writing any candidate whose petition is then known not to meet the requirements of this section, but the failure to so notify any candidate shall not prevent a final determination that the petition does not meet such requirements. Within three days after the last date for filing petitions, the Clerk shall make his final determination as to the validity and sufficiency of each nomination petition and write his determination thereof on the face of the petition. No petition shall be determined to be valid unless the affidavit of qualifications provided for in Section 5.1 shall be filed with such petition.
The Clerk shall immediately notify in writing the candidate whose name appears thereon of his determinations. Such notice to any candidate whose petition is found invalid or insufficient shall be delivered by personal messenger if possible. Any candidate whose petition is so found invalid or insufficient shall be allowed to file supplementary or replacement petitions before 5:00 P.M. at the then prevailing local time on the fifth day after the last date for filing original petitions; thereafter no further petitions may be filed.
Public Inspection of Petitions:
Section 3.10 All nomination petitions shall be open to public inspection in the office of the Clerk.
Election Commission:
Section 3.11 An Election Commission is hereby created, consisting of the Clerk, the Attorney and one member of the Council who shall not be a candidate for elective office at the election for which he serves as a member of the Election Commission, such member to be appointed by the Council not less than thirty days before such election. The members shall serve without compensation. The Clerk shall be chairman. The Election Commission shall appoint the Board of Election Inspectors for each precinct and have charge of all activities and duties required of it by statute and this charter relating to the conduct of elections in the city. The compensation of election personnel shall be determined in advance by the Council. In any case where election procedure is in doubt, the Election Commission shall prescribe the procedure to be followed, subject to state election laws.
Form of Ballot:
Section 3.12 The form, printing and numbering of ballots or the preparation of the voting machines used in any city election shall conform as nearly as may be to the provisions of statute, except that no party designation or emblem shall appear. In all city elections, the names of qualified candidates or nominees for each office shall be listed under a separate heading and shall be rotated systematically in the manner prescribed by statute for rotation of names.
If two or more candidates or nominees for the same office have the same or similar surnames, the Election Commission shall print the occupation and residence address under the respective names of each of such candidates or nominees on the ballots (or on labels or slips to be placed on voting machines when used), provided, that for any of such candidates who is an incumbent of such office, the occupation shall be designated as "Incumbent."
Except as provided in this section, there shall be no supplementary identification of candidates or nominees on the ballot.
Canvass of Votes:
Section 3.13 The Clerk and the members of the Council shall be the board of canvassers to canvass the votes at all city elections, except that if any of such persons are candidates for office at the election to be canvassed such person shall not serve as a canvasser at such election. The board of canvassers shall convene on the day following each city election at the usual time and place of meeting of the Council and determine the results of the city election upon each question and proposition voted upon and what persons are duly elected to the several offices respectively at said election, and shall notify in writing the successful candidates of their election. The Clerk shall make under the corporate seal of the city duplicate certificates of the determinations of the board and shall file one certificate with the County Clerk and the other in his own office.
Tie Vote:
Section 3.14 If at any city election, there shall be no choice between candidates by reason of two or more persons having received an equal number of votes, then the Council shall name a date for the appearance of such persons for the purpose of determining the election of such candidate by lot as provided by statute.
Section 3.15 A recount of the votes cast at any city election for any office or upon any proposition may be had in accordance with election statutes. Unless otherwise required by statute (a) the petition for a recount of the votes cast at any city election shall be filed with the Clerk by 5:00 P.M. on the second full day on which the Clerk's office is open for business after the board of canvassers has made its official report of the result of the election at which such votes were cast, (b) any counter petition shall be filed by 5:00 P.M. of the next full day thereafter on which the Clerk's office is open for business and (c) no officer shall be qualified to take office until final determination of any recount of the votes cast for such office.
Section 3.16 Any elected official may be recalled from office by the electors of the city in the manner provided by statute. A vacancy created by such recall shall be filled in the manner prescribed by this charter and by statute.