Macomb Co. to offer election results by text, e-mail
Apr 16, 2012 (Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Macomb County residents who rely on text and e-mail alerts for everything from personal banking notifications to traffic updates can add another topic to that list: elections.
Beginning with the August primary, the Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds office will introduce new technology on its website allowing users to not only check on individual race results, but also to set up customized alerts based on the races relevant to them through their individual precinct numbers.
Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Carmella Sabaugh said the program should make tracking election results easier.
"I think the public is going to find this to be very helpful," she said.
The changes will allow users to receive election results most relevant to them. They will be able to set up text or e-mail alerts every 15 minutes, when a lead changes or when a certain percentage of the results are in.
The clerk's office is unaware of any similar setup in other counties.
Sabaugh noted that the interest in accessing election results has always been high, including in low-turnout elections. She estimated that her staff has received thousands of phone calls for results in past elections.
Users can access the clerk's election page at www.macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice/ElectionDept.htm .
Commissioners unanimously approved the upgrades -- at a onetime cost of $4,000 and $1,750 per election -- during a meeting Thursday.
Commissioners also OK'd the clerk's office to install two self-serve kiosks for jurors, similar to airline ticket kiosks, and wireless Internet access at the Register of Deeds office on the second floor of the County Building in Mt. Clemens.
The kiosks, approved at a cost not to exceed $27,000 initially and $2,900 annually, will allow jurors to sign in for jury duty without having to wait for a clerk. They will be able to print a letter for their employer showing that they were called for jury duty.
With cuts in staffing -- the clerk's office used to have three employees working with jurors and that number is now at the equivalent of 11/2 employees -- the office is looking for ways to maintain service levels, Sabaugh said.
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