Macomb County Clerk

Choose one candidate. The Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds serves a four-year term and will be paid $108,880 in his or her first year in office.

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    Fred Miller

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    Karen A. Spranger

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Biographical Information

If elected, what would be your priorities in this office?

Which areas of the clerk’s office need the most improvement, and what suggestions can you offer for making them better?

If elected, what would you do to make voting more accessible?

What you would you like to see state leaders do to make voting more accessible and increase voter turnout?

What would you do to improve customer service in the clerk’s office?

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s presidential nominee?

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

City of residence Mount Clemens
Age 42
Family wife Jennifer Nowaczok-Miller; 2 daughters ages 7 & 5
Education BA of Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University
Vehicles owned Buick Enclave; Chevy Equinox
Professional Experience Macomb County Commissioner 2011- present; State Representative (31st District) 2005-2010;
Political Experience see above
Race/ethnicity caucasian
Incumbent? false
Macomb County is rapidly changing due for two reasons: the influx of new residents and the aging of existing residents. The Office of County Clerk/ Register of Deeds touches upon so many of life's milestones including vital records for birth, marriage, death, and genealogy, pistol licenses, business registrations, military discharge records, registering deeds from a sale of personal or business property, elections, circuit court motions and paperwork, and elections. If I am honored to serve as Macomb County Clerk, I will work to do proactive outreach to these two aforementioned segments of Macomb County to ensure they are aware of and receiving the needed servcies from this important office
Carmella Sabaugh has won literally dozens of national awards for the work she and her team have done to make the clerk’s office more efficient and tech savvy. While making more offerings available on-line is important and must continue, we must be sensitive to those who may not have access to the Internet as well as to those who may not feel comfortable operating on-line. In particular, while many senior citizens are adept at on-line technology, many are not. If I am honored to serve as Macomb County Clerk, I will work to create the position of ‘Senior Advocate’ to work with seniors to service their needs and push the entire department to better serve the needs of older citizens.
While I would much rather Michigan be in a position to adopt measures to make voting easier and more accessible for all eligible citizens, the reality in the state now is that we must guard against further attacks on voting rights from the legislature. While 31 other states have adopted on-line or “paperless registration” and several have moved to voting by mail, Michigan continues to go backward by exploring voter ID laws, eliminating straight ticket voting, and legislative blocking of no-reason absentee voting. Carmella Sabaugh has been an outspoken advocate for voting rights and if I am lucky enough to serve as Macomb County Clerk, I will be similarly outspoken both locally and in Lansing
"State leaders" should at minimum catch up with the myriad of other states and enact common-sense voting modernization and reforms including no-reason absentee voting, on-line voter registration, and early voting. These are just some measures that will help remove common barriers so all eligible citizens can exercise their right to participate in our democratic process.
Again, Carmella Sabaugh has been a statewide leader in improving customer service. I would like to build upon her record and target new Macomb County residents and older long-time residents. I will work to create the position of ‘Senior Advocate’ to work with seniors to assist with their needs and push the entire department to better serve the needs of older citizens, including doing outreach to places seniors live and socialize. Newer residents are not as easily targeted but just as important. Again, proactive outreach to update voter registration as well as familiarize new residents with available services will help make the Clerk's Office an important "welcome wagon" for new residents
City of residence Warren, Michigan
Age 64 ( Sixty-four )
Family Single One of 16 siblings raised in Warren
Education Warren Lincoln High School Hands on work experience at Van Dyke Public Schools , Teachers Workshop at M.I.S.D , and TACOM
Vehicles owned American made automobile
Professional Experience Hands on work experience at Van Dyke Public Schools , Teachers Workshop at M.I.S.D , and TACOM , and various printer shops. Community activist and citizen advocate.
Political Experience Ran for Office of Mayor of Warren in 2015
Race/ethnicity White
Campaign Website
Incumbent? false
When elected to office by the will of the voters, my first priority is meet all 85 employees and become familiar with their roles interacting with the public. I believe that they can offer valuable insight into merging the paper based office into an online shopping portal. I want to look at all the technology in use and to overhaul the website portal in order to amplify our services. This will include step by step tutorials that clearly demonstrate the legal requirements mandated for each official document. I will tap into the $1.3 million Technology Fund to accomplish these enhancements. I feel the staff has the experience in working with our residents to make this happen quickly.
There is a long history in Macomb County of both election and real estate fraud. It is clear to many who have watched these events unfold that a strong leadership initiative has to go beyond press releases. The County is an arm of the State of Michigan. Our offices will fully interact and work in unison with the enforcement agencies in Lansing. Often we hear about task forces meeting to list proper objectives but they lack any teeth in the legislation. Con artists see the loopholes in the law that can be exploited. As Clerk & Register of Deeds, there will NOT be an official stamp placed on any questionable document unless there are affidavits of verification . This protects integrity.
I feel that voters have become burdened with too many rules when it comes to exercising their rights to vote. I am a strong advocate of educational training and would like to expand the field of poll workers to include as many qualified residents as possible. As a candidate, I feel that the release of the absentee ballots is much earlier than the media coverage designed to create election day match ups. There is a limited venue for all candidates to effectively state their message to the entire voting population. Access to voting is access to information with opportunities to meet the candidates. These traditional ways can be replaced with a common-to-all venue using our new technology.
I have been very active with the local clerks operations and have been a vocal advocate for preserving the integrity of the election franchise. In my extensive contacts with the Michigan Bureau of Elections, it appears that each local clerk has their own rules that conflict with law. There are documented State statutes which require adherence. Voters must have assurances that those that handle and program the voting machines, as well as tabulate and report the voting results, are free from any questionable activities. These functions need independent audits . I would hold summits with the 27 Macomb cities, village , and townships ( CVTs) clerks to reiterate our statutory functions.
Customer service standards are based upon how well the customers and the dedicated civil servants communicate in person, online, or by phone. It is imperative that when policies and procedures are set in place to prevent fraud that the customer is given every courtesy to become educated before submitting or retrieving vital records, deeds, or court documents. When there is a disconnect, we often see a customer complain that the person assisting them was at fault. I would like to set the proper expectations that create a win-win situation of high professional standards where our checklists are being followed to protect all customers best interests. This methodology creates balance.
At the time of this survey, there is not a designated party nominee for president. It would be premature at this time to accept or deny any appearances as we do not know for sure who that nominee would be. I would suspect that my partys future nominee would be reaching out to me and supporting me in my campaign for County Clerk and Register of Deeds. It works both ways.