How to change your absentee ballot

Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 06:04:53-05

LANSING, Mich. — Since Michigan absentee ballots were printed, at least eight Democratic candidates have dropped out of the race.

The latest of those candidates being U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer.

But what if you voted absentee for one of these fallen candidates?

You can still re-vote.

You have the option of spoiling your absentee ballot, meaning that your ballot no longer counts, and you can get a new one.

But time is ticking to make these changes, as the Michigan primary is only eight days away.

Lansing voter, Christopher Tremblay is wasting no time to change his absentee vote, as he was at the City Clerks Office first thing Monday morning.

"I did, I wanted to make sure," said Tremblay. "I didn't know if there would be a line this morning or how many people will be doing it, but I wanted to take care of it as soon as possible.

Earlier this year, Tremblay sent in his absentee ballot, but as candidates continue to drop out of the race, he came in Monday to spoil it and re-vote.

"It was super easy, I wanted an opportunity to recast my vote for someone who is still in the race," said Tremblay.

There are a few options to spoil your vote.

Like Tremblay, you can come into your city, county or township's clerk's office and fill out a request form.

You can also request that a new absentee voter ballot be mailed to you, but for this option, time may not be in your favor.

"If you are doing it through the mail, you have until 2 p.m. on Saturday so there may not be enough time to mail a ballot and then you to get it back to us," said Chris Swope, the Lansing City Clerk. "So really if you are not doing it in the next couple of days, I suggest you come in person."

For those who have not sent their absentee ballot back to the clerk's office, but already marked it with a candidate that is no longer in the race, Swope said you can get a new ballot or make corrections on your old one.

"If they just make it very obvious, no not this one, cross off things or mark a different candidate, we can deal with that at the Absentee County Board and we can adjust that vote," said Swope.

You have until 4 p.m. on March 9 to spoil your ballot and re-vote at the clerk's office.

There is no option on Election Day to spoil an absentee ballot that has already been received by the clerk.

Lansing says 55% of its absentee ballots have already been returned to the clerk's office.

From now until Election Day, clerk's offices across Mid-Michigan are expanding their hours for voters to drop off absentee ballots.

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