DETROIT (WWJ) – Voters have until 8 p.m. Monday to cast their absentee ballots, one day before midterm elections in metro Detroit.

Vehicles were two lanes deep at times on West Grand Blvd. in Detroit as voters lined up to drop off this ballots curbside.

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Patsy Smith, 75, as she walked with a cane to cast hers.

Talking to WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas, she had a message for those who don’t vote.

“Well, they’re missing out on their opportunity…they can’t complain if they don’t vote,” Smith said. “Just don’t complain if you don’t vote.”

Absentee ballots are collected curbside, Monday in Detroit. (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Absentee ballots are collected curbside, Monday in Detroit. (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

With Patsy Smith was her son, 55-year-old Tyrone Smith, who was voting for the first time after he spent some years behind bars.

“We all make mistakes, you know. The important thing in life is that, you know, you turn the corner…better late than never, and for me it was late,” he said. “But right now I’ve turned the corner and I changed my life around…So, guys that have been incarcerated like I have in the past and everything…you’re a citizen; so act like a citizen, get out and stand up for your rights. Speak up for people that are gonna help you and help he city.”

Detroiter Helen Thornton case her absentee ballot weeks ago, and is now encouraging others to get to the polls.

“We could get the people that we want in if we only go,” Thornton said. “I am very nervous, because I walked with Dr. King from Selma to Montgomery; so the things that I had to endure, and all the people that walked with me, it’s so important for us to vote…People don’t get it.”

Polls open 7 a.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m.

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Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey said there is a strict says there is a zero tolerance policy for tardy poll workers.

“We send out a special phone blast to all of our polling locations to make sure that they know you must be open on time, 6 o’clock a.m., so that our poll workers can go in and do what they have to do,” Winfrey said.

“If they don’t open on time, it will be our last time using them,” she added. “And we pay for these facilities to use their places; so they really need to be open on time.”

The Detroit Branch of the NAACP will have observers at polling places in Detroit to ensure that voters are not intimidated before casting their ballots.

Winfrey said she expects a 40 percent voter turnout in the city.

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Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for election coverage throughout the day, and check back Tuesday night for results for races across the region.

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