Don’t risk mailing ballots this close to the election

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 4:15 PM EDT
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MASON, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced ballots likely won’t be received by local clerks if they’re sent in the mail with not much time before the election.

Due, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic, mail carriers may not be able to get ballots to clerks on time.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said that so far, her office received only about half of the ballots back ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.

“It’s not uncommon for some ballots to not have been returned yet,” Byrum said. “However, the number of ballots that have been sent out is significantly higher than previous years. Over 62,000 ballots have been mailed out to Ingham County voters. Already, we do have 33,000 that have been returned to local clerks.”

That’s just over 46 percent with polls closing in a little more than five days.

Byrum said if someone wants a ballot to be counted, don’t risk putting it in the mail.

“Rather, put it in their clerk’s drop box or deliver it to their clerk this weekend or even on Election Day,” Byrum said. “It has to be in possession of the clerk by the time the polls close, 8 p.m. on election night.”

For those voting in person, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order does not make masks a requirement in polling locations. However, many clerks are urging voters to wear one anyway.

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