Election Information

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Federal, State, Local and School elections in the City of Coldwater are administered by the City Clerk Office. All elections for Wards 1-4 of the City of Coldwater are held at the Dearth Community Center, 235 E Garfield Ave. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dearth Community Center

A Primary/General City Election is held every odd year at which time four members of Council are elected for a four-year term and Mayor for a two-year term. Eligibility for elective office is as follows:

  1. 21 years of age
  2. Can not be in default to the City
  3. A registered elector of the City
  4. A resident of the City for at least 2 years continuously immediately preceding the election.

These positions are non-partisan and nominated by petition. Persons interested in running for Council or Mayor must submit nominating petitions as required by law. Petitions shall be signed by not less than twenty-five, nor more than 100, of the registered electors of the City Council member candidate's ward or the entire City for mayoral candidates. Nominating petitions and related forms shall be filed with the City Clerk not later than 4 p.m. on the 15th Tuesday preceding the Primary Election date. If there are no more than two candidates filing for any one Council seat, there will not be a Primary Election. Packets for filing are available at the City Clerk's office.

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Upcoming Elections for the City of Coldwater:

  • City Offices to be elected in 2023, Filing Deadlines & Election Dates
    • City General Election: Council Members for wards 1, 2, 3, 4
    • Filing Deadline: Tuesday April 5, 2023 by 4:00 p.m. 
    • Election Date: November 7, 2023
    • Terms to commence: November 13, 2023 and will expire November 17, 2027
  • Statewide Primary or Statewide General Elections:
    • November 7, 2023 - State General
City Voter Information Website Banner

Register to Vote

To qualify to be registered as an elector in the State of Michigan you must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age by election day and a resident of the community for 30 days prior to an election. You may register to vote in person at any Secretary of State Offices in United States, or by going online to the Michigan Voter Information Center.

Voter Identification Requirement

Michigan Election Law now requires that every Michigan voter who offers to vote in the polls must comply with the requirement by showing picture identification or signing an affidavit attesting that he or she is not in possession of picture identification.

Other Voter Information

For more information to see if you are registered to vote, view a sample ballot, check the status of your absentee ballot request, find your polling location, or are in need of assistance, go to the Michigan Voter Information Center.

If you would like to be included in the City of Coldwater Absentee Voter Automatic Application List and receive an Absentee Voter Application prior to every election, please fill out this form.

Apply for a Michigan Absent Voter Application Online Here

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Election Inspectors

The City Clerk is also responsible for recruiting, hiring and training inspectors to work at the polls on Election Day. Inspectors can work all day, until the close of the polls, or just a partial day. The rate of compensation is:

  • Chairmen: $15
  • Inspectors: $13

To be able to work on a City election you are required to be certified through our election training program. Those training sessions will be conducted by the City Clerk at various scheduled dates. To qualify to be an Election Inspector, you must be a registered voter of the State of Michigan, and at least 16 years old. If you are interested in becoming an election inspector, complete the Election Inspector Application (PDF) and return to the City Clerk:

1 Grand Street

Coldwater, MI 49036

Phone: 517-279-9501


New Election Equipment

Early in 2017, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced the approval of contracts for new next-generation voting equipment that all Michigan voters will use over at least the next decade. The State Administrative Board approved 10-year contracts with three vendors for optical-scan voting systems that read and tabulate paper ballots marked by voters. Each of Michigan's 83 county clerks, and specifically Branch County Clerk (Terry Kubasiak), then consulted with city and township clerks in this county and selceted the Dominion Voting System, Inc. "The new equipment offers voters all the speed and convenience of the latest ballot-scanning and election night reporting technology while at the same time featuring a good, old-fashioned paper ballot that we can always go back and look at if we need to," said Johnson, the state's chief elections official.

The new equipment, which includes ballot tabulators, accessible devices for use by voters with disabilities and election-management and reporting software, was utilized for the August 2017 primary elections in some jurisdictions across the state and in Branch County for the November 2017 general elections. Some Michigan jurisdictions will not be utilizing the new equipment until the 2018 primary and/or general elections.


The new equipment was paid for with $30 million in federal Help America Vote Act money that the Secretary of State's Office has saved for more than a decade, and with $10 million approved by the Legislature with the support of Gov. Snyder. This funding covered most of the up-front cost for the new systems. The City of Coldwater subsequently received this new $20,230.00 equipment at no cost, with the exception of the extended service and maintenance, which will begin in the 6th year of the 10-year contract period. 

This is a significant savings for the City of Coldwater, as the City could easily have paid upwards of $40,000 over the course of the next decade for this new equipment, which all Michigan communities will be required to move to within the next year.