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Meridian Township Clerk under fire after missed deadlines

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Posted at 4:24 AM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 04:24:12-05

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Wednesday night Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus is under fire after missing key election deadlines that could affect Tuesday's Primary.

Fox 47 sat down with Dreyfus who says elections will go on as scheduled after missing the deadline to figure out the election day staff and test voting equipment.

This comes just days before the Primary election.

Dreyfus says it's because of staffing changes and getting voting equipment late from the county.

"We have a new Deputy Clerk that came on board we had a little bit of a scheduling -- some new things coming -- so we kind of missed the deadline for the Election Commission meeting we missed it by approximately a week," said Dreyfus.

Meridian Township Treasurer Phil Deschaine says even with the challenges.. The behavior is still unacceptable.

"Our residence deserve a full-time clerk right now we have a part-time clerk collecting a full-time salary and therefor he's missing deadlines -- he's not complying with state election law that's wrong," said Deschaine.

Dreyfus has been the Meridian Township Clerk for nearly a decade.

But Deschaine says that's not reflective in his work ethic.

"56 hundred residents have asked for absentee ballots -- state law requires those ballots to be sent out 40 days in advanced -- clerk Dreyfus mailed them out 25 days in advance," said Deschaine.

He says he's worried that those votes may not get back in time to get counted. Now he and the township board are taking action to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"We'll be expecting more of him in the August Primary and certainly the November general election. These are critically important elections and the township board is going to paying a lot more attention now that we've had these 3 big mess-ups just with this election on March 10th," said Deschaine.

Clerk Dreyfus says he is aware of his mistakes and is complying with state law. Dreyfus says despite the rough start -- there's nothing for voters to worry about.

"I predict a relatively smooth election day none of the so-called issues are going to affect any person's ability to cast their vote in the presidential Primary and make sure that their preferences are counted as a part of the canvass of votes," said Dreyfus.

Dreyfus says there will be an Election Commission meeting on Thursday that's open to the public to appoint election staff and to test voting equipment.
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