Ann Vollrath has served as Clerk and Assistant City Manager since 2012. She has been employed by the city since 1997. The Clerk attends all meetings of the council, keeps its journal, and is the custodian of the city seal and all documents and records of the city. The Clerk also administers elections. The clerk can be reached at 906-483-4644 or e-mail

Election Resources

Voter Registration

You can check your voter registration and/or register to vote in Michigan through the Secretary of State’s office.

The State of Michigan provides a voter information center where voters can check their registration, polling location, and view upcoming issues and candidates that may be on their ballot. Click here to locate this information.


The City of Houghton operates two precincts on Election Day.  The precinct boundaries were changed in May of 2022 to reflect the redistricting for County Commissioner.  Attached is a map showing the precinct boundaries beginning June 1, 2022.

Precinct Boundary

Precinct 1 is located at the Houghton Fire Hall at 1404 Gundlach Road on the corner of Gundlach Road and Sharon Avenue.

Precinct 2 is located at Dee Stadium, 700 Lakeshore Drive (on the waterfront). 

On Election Day, polls at both precincts are open from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm.

Upcoming Elections:

February 27, 2024 – Presidential Primary

August 6, 2024 – Primary Election

November 5, 2024 – General Election 

Changes following Proposal 2 of 2022:

Permanent Absentee Application List

Residents who have been on our list to receive an absent voter application prior to each election will still receive these applications unless they request in writing to be put on the Permanent Ballot List.  The application list will phase out by the end of 2024.

Permanent Ballot List

Proposal 2 of 2022 added a new option for voters.  Voters may request in writing to the clerk to be placed on the Permanent Ballot List.  Voters placed on this list will receive an Absent Voter Ballot mailed to them prior to each election.  Voters should note that if they need the ballot mailed to a different address, they must notify the clerk at least 45 days prior to the election with the address they need the ballot sent.  Ballots are NOT forwarded by the postal service.

To be added to the list, you can check the box on an absent voter application to be placed on the Permanent Ballot List or, simply send an e-mail to and include your name and address.

Early Voting

State law requires nine (9) days of early voting for Federal and State elections which includes two weekends. Starting in 2024, whenever there is a Federal or State election there will be an early voting site in Houghton County open for 9 days prior to Election Day.  The site will be open for eight (8) hours (8:00 am until 4:00 pm) each day (including the two weekends prior to Election Day).  Voters can cast their ballot in the tabulator just like on Election Day.  Once you put your ballot through the tabulator, you cannot revote if your candidate withdraws or is removed from the ballot for any reason. 

The Early Voting Site for all 2024 elections in Houghton County will be at: Houghton City Center, 616 Shelden Avenue, Room 203, Houghton.  The site is accessible with an elevator.  

Canvassing of the votes made at the Houghton County Early Voting Site will begin at 8:00 p.m. at the Early Voting Site, 616 Shelden Avenue, Room 203, Houghton, MI  49931.

Election Inspector Application

Registered voters in Michigan interested in serving as Election Inspectors can fill out an application and submit it to the Clerk. Inspectors will be trained by the County Clerk prior to every even-year election cycle.

Inspector Application

If you have any questions about voter registration or elections, please contact:

Ann Vollrath, Clerk

What Makes Michigan Elections Secure?  The attached pdf provides the crosschecks for security in Michigan.

Michigan Election Security

Business Licensing

Adult-Use Marihuana Retailer & Medical Marihuana Licensing

The City of Houghton is accepting applications for Adult-Use Marihuana Retailer establishments.  The flowchart explains the process.  The necessary forms are below in pdf format.  The Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 98 – Section 98-427) provides the use standards required for marihuana establishments.  You can link to the City’s Ordinances farther down on this page.  The initial application fee is $4,500 plus up to $500 for background checks if determined necessary by the police department.  The annual license renewal fee is $2,500.

marihuana retailer flowchart

marihuana retailer application

special land use permit

Marihuana Location Map


Mobile Food Vending (Food Truck) License

In June of 2023, the Houghton City Council revised Chapter 18 of the Code of Ordinances to allow mobile food vending on specific properly zoned, public property in Houghton.  Below is the application for a license, requirements, and areas food trucks are allowed.

Food Truck Application

The application fees:

Food Truck Special Event (paid by the organizer)   $50.00

Food Truck Three Consecutive Months (1 permit per year)   $200

Food Truck One Year   $500

Food Cart One Year   $100.00

Allowable Food Truck Locations with License

Peddler’s License

The City of Houghton requires all peddlers and solicitors to be licensed before selling or soliciting donations either door-to-door or in a fixed location for a temporary period of time. In order to receive a “Peddler’s License” you must fill out the attached form and submit it to the City Clerk along with the application fee of $5 per day, or $50 per year. The Clerk and Police Chief must approve the license. If you have questions you can contact the City Clerk at 482-1700.

Peddler’s License (PDF Format)

Precious Metal & Gem Dealer

In accordance with Public Act 95 of 1981 all dealers buying and selling precious metals and gems must obtain a valid certificate of registration from the local government and police department prior to conducting business.

Interested dealers must submit the attached Application along with the $50 application fee to the City Clerk along with a completed Employee Registration for every employee that will be working in the City of Houghton. You must receive a Certificate of Registration prior to buying and selling any precious metals and gems. The Certificate of Registration is good for one year after issuance. If you have any questions, you can contact the City Clerk at 482-1700.

Precious Metal Application (PDF Format)

Precious Metal Employee Application (PDF Format)

Title VI Policy

The City of Houghton, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 252, 42 U.S.C 2000d to 2000d-4 and Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Transportation, SubTitle A, Office the Secretary, Part 21, Nondiscrimination in Federally assisted programs of the Department of Transportation issued pursuant to such Act, hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively insure that in any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, minority business enterprises will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, or national origin in consideration for an award.

The City of Houghton Title VI Coordinator is:

Ann Vollrath
Assistant City Manager
616 Shelden Avenue
Houghton, MI   49931
(906) 482-1700

Attached are the following documents:


City of Houghton Public Transit Title VI Coordinator is:

Jodi Reynolds
Transit Director
616 Shelden Avenue
Houghton, MI  49931
(906) 482-1700

Transit Title VI Plan

aerial view of the city of Houghton and lift bridge