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Some city clerks say less absentee ballots are being returned with primary just days away

Voting
Posted at 7:57 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 12:43:15-04

LANSING, Mich. — Some city clerks' offices are reporting that absentee ballots are coming in at a slow rate, and with the primary election right around the corner, that's cause for concern.

"Asking them if they need it delivered or if they can pick it up because of the fear that we cannot get it mailed to them, them vote it, then mail it back,” said Delta Township Clerk Mary Clark.

In Delta Township, election officials are offering curbside delivery and pickup service for anyone who can't drop off their absentee ballot.

They issued 6,900 absentee ballots.

As of close of business on Wednesday, Clark says they have about 68 percent of those returned.

Clark says there are a couple of factors that make it hard to gauge if these numbers are low or high.

"This is kind of our yardstick year. This will be the first one when we're not in the throws of a pandemic and after Prop 3 was passed. So this is a bench-setter. This is definitely a yardstick year," said Clark.

The city clerks in Jackson and Charlotte tell me they're reporting about 60 percent of returned absentee ballots.

For them, that’s mostly on par.

One thing that all mid-Michigan clerks want voters to know is that, if they want their votes counted, they can't count on the mail at this point.

"We have to actually have to physically have the ballot into one of our locations by 8 p.m. on Election night. A postmark doesn't work for voting. It has to be physically to one of our drop boxes or one of our offices by 8 o'clock on election night,” said Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope.

Swope says his team is sending out an email to registered voters letting them know all the ways they can get ballots in by the deadline.

He says Lansing has issued over 12,000 absentee ballots and has only gotten 56% of them back.

For Swope and his team, that number is low and he's hoping that all voters see the need to cast their votes, whether it be by absentee or in-person.

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