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Michigan has systems in place for secure elections

Posted at 4:46 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 16:46:10-04

LANSING, Mich. — President Donald Trump’s positive test for COVID-19 probably has even more voters thinking about casting their ballot by mail.

A record-setting number of Michiganders have already requested absentee ballots.

“I hope it’s going to be a fair election. If it’s a fair election, I am a hundred percent on board. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that,” said President Trump during Tuesday’s debate.

The election process itself is making its way into this week’s presidential debate. President Trump once again making claims of possible fraud when the results come in November 4.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said the president is just scaring people.

“And this is all about trying to dissuade people from voting because he’s trying to con-- to scare people into thinking that it’s not going to be legitimate,” Biden said Tuesday.

More than 28,000 people in Lansing already have their ballots. Lansing Clerk Chris Swope said about 20% of those have been returned as of Friday morning and systems are in place to keep them secure.

Everything from assigning ballot numbers to voters to the voter’s signature, which is the most important step.

“We do log in every ballot that comes in. We check it against the signature we have on file, which is usually the driver’s license signature,” said Swope.

Swope said that’s why people need to make sure they sign their ballot envelope.

“We compare the style of handwriting to what’s on your driver’s license. So, the signature on your ballot envelope doesn’t have to be legible,” he said.

Swope said if the signatures don’t match, there’s a system in place for that.

“We understand overtime people’s signatures change. We would try to get an explanation about why that happened,” said Swope.

Swope said Lansing normally doesn’t see people trying to vote more than once, but there are steps to prevent that too.

He said the state’s voter database stops you from voting both absentee and in-person.

“That list does tell them if they’ve been issued an absentee ballot and if they’ve been issued an absentee ballot, the voter has to surrender that ballot to be able to vote at the polls,” said Swope.

Swope said they even remove ballots if someone dies between turning their ballot and Election Day. There are several ways to return your ballot.

Many clerks have drop boxes set up. You can also send it in the mail or drop it off in-person.

The state does have a system in place if you decide to change your vote after dropping off your ballot. Just contact your local clerk to find out what to do.

You can be charged with a crime if you try to vote more than once in an election.

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