EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
The County Clerk / Register of Deeds office deals with just about everyone in Washtenaw County. Larry has built a team who are committed to fast, accurate service, transparency, courtesy, and respect. In addition, Larry and his team have been striving to put records online for easier access. If re-elected, Larry is committed to continuing his commitment to digital records and customer service.
Throughout his service in county government, Larry has been a steadfast voice for progress.
In March 2014, when Michigan's marriage inequality amendment was struck down for what turned out to be 24 hours, Larry opened the County Clerk's office on a Saturday to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Three other county clerks followed his lead, helping to provide marriage licenses to hundreds of gay and lesbian couples across Michigan.
In response to the attacks on immigrant communities seen since 2016, Larry worked with Sheriff Jerry Clayton and other Washtenaw County leaders to spearhead the Washtenaw ID Project, aimed at ensuring all Washtenaw County residents have access to government-issued ID and the services for which not having an ID is a barrier.
VOTING RIGHTS & ELECTION SECURITY
The Washtenaw County Clerk / Register is the county's chief election official - a job for which Larry is uniquely qualified. An attorney with years of experience in election administration, Larry is widely respected for his knowledge of the election process, serving as co-chair of the County Clerks' Association Legislative Committee, and as a member of the Michigan Council of Election Officials. He has regularly been a voice in Lansing for fair election processes, including in November 2016, when his testimony in Lansing helped ensure that presidential ballots would be recounted by hand.
In 2012, the Republican-led Legislature added unconstitutional roadblocks to stop voters from recalling elected officials. Larry in the forefront of those opposing that power grab.
In 2020, a partisan lawsuit charges that the county has "too many" voters. This will not be the last attempt at voter suppression. A county clerk with deep election experience is the best defense.
With the changes implemented in voter registration and absentee voting from Prop. 3 of 2018, Larry is working with city and township clerks throughout Washtenaw County to provide safe, fair voting access to all residents. He has a long history of advocating for legislative changes to increase civic engagement, especially voter participation in our elections.
Until 1948, even here in Ann Arbor, racial segregation was upheld through explicit restrictions written into property deeds. At Larry's direction, the Washtenaw County Clerk/Register's Office is partnering with the Civil Rights Clinic of the U-M Law School on a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary project to study the history of racially restrictive covenants in the Ann Arbor area deeds.
One of the expected products will be a map showing which areas were covered by these covenants. Another will be a database that can be used by others interested in researching aspects of the issue.
Within the county government, Larry is known as a careful steward of public resources. Over the last 15 years, this county has grown substantially, with more people, a larger economy, and growing needs for service. The Clerk/Register's office now meets those needs with only half the staff it had when Larry started.
PRESERVATION OF RECORDS
When Larry took office, bound volumes, containing Washtenaw County's property deeds since 1824, were stored in the basement of a downtown building, in a flood zone. In a multi-year effort, all of the deeds in those volumes were scanned, with images made available online, and the books themselves moved to a safer location.