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Two West Michigan counties move to update their websites to protect elections

A computer monitor displays the Kalamazoo County Government Website. The URL at the top of the page reads "" The page is predominantly white, though the addition of blue and green text and banners livens up the page.  A graphic next to the page title shows the Kalamazoo River running between to hills populated by yellow trees. Black buildings standing against a clear blue sky can be seen in the background of the logo. Below the page title sits Kalamazoo County's motto in green italicized text. It reads, "In pursuit of extraordinary governance."
Michael Symonds
Kalamazoo County is just one of many counties in Southwest Michigan that do not use the .gov domain.

Many counties in Michigan do not use a .gov domain for their official websites. Federal officials say this seemingly minor detail may pose a risk to secure elections.

Earlier this month, two federal agencies released a guide advising counties to switch to the .gov domain.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the FBI said that other domains can be easy to impersonate with fake websites or email addresses. Spoof websites and emails could be used to spread misinformation about elections.

Kalamazoo and Branch counties currently use the .com domain, but both said they’re set to make the switch.

Branch County said it hopes to start using its recently granted .gov domain this summer.

Kalamazoo County spokesperson Taylor Koopman said the county plans to use American Rescue Plan Act funds for an overhaul of its website. She said the county does not have a timeline for launching the new site.

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.