City Clerks Begin Preparations for Tuesday's Primary

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The primary is this Tuesday, which means voters using absentee ballots need to get them turned in.

The City Clerk Offices in Lansing and East Lansing were open Saturday to receive, issue and mail those ballots.

There wasn't a large turnout for either office, but that allowed each team more time to prepare for Tuesday.

"There are lots of supplies that need to go to the precincts, so we're packing those up and making sure that everything is good to go. There's lots of double and triple checking of everything that we do," explained Marie Wicks, the City Clerk of East Lansing.

City Clerk Chris Swope, of Lansing, agreed. "We're making sure that we have signs directing people where to go and where to put things when they're done with them, so that we can reduce the confusion."

The City Clerks' Offices said there are multiple reasons why people need to vote with an absentee ballot. If they're over 60 years old or unable to vote without assistance, if a person expects to be out of town or are in the military or jail, and the people working the polls and those with religious reasons are allowed to vote absentee.

"A pretty big pool of our absentee voters are our own workers who we've assigned to another precinct than where they live," Swope said.

And, both Clerks were quick to say those absentee ballots are counted.

"There is some belief out there that we only process them to break a tie. That's not the case. We have a sequestered board that actually processes those ballots," Wicks explained.

When it's not November, absentee ballots can make an even bigger difference.

Voters who still need an absentee ballot can get one on Monday before 4pm, but you'll have to vote in the City Clerk's Office.

Absentee ballots are accepted on Tuesday, but voters must bring the completed ballots to City Hall, not their precinct.

For more information on your voter status, to track your absentee ballot or get a look at the ballot ahead of time, check out the Secretary of State's website at