Ingham County Clerk urging voters to turn in absentee ballots
MASON, Mich. (WILX) - Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said the rate of return of absent voter ballots is down. She urged Michigan residents who have one to turn it in to their local clerks.
“Thanks to Proposal 3 of 2018, voters are free to vote by absent voter ballot in each election,” Byrum said. “As of yesterday, over 30,000 ballots have been cast in Ingham County by absent voter ballot. There are yet 13,000 ballots that have been requested that have not been turned in. Voters may return them to their local clerk’s drop box or to their clerk’s office until 8:00 p.m. local time on election day.”
In Michigan, absent voter ballots may still be requested from local clerks until 4 p.m. the day before the primary.
Related: Lansing residents are not turning in absentee ballots
There’s a process in place for voters who were issued their absent voter ballots but wish to vote in-person: They can bring their absent voter ballot with them to the polls where they will turn it (or sign an affidavit if they do not have it) before being issued an in-person precinct ballot.
“We have nearly double the number of absentee ballots turned in this year as compared to 2018,” Byrum said. “I am so pleased that more and more voters are getting engaged.”
Byrum said the return rates for absentee ballots are lower in 2022 than they were in 2018. By this point in 2018, 79% of absent voter ballots had been returned, compared to only 69% this year. Even so, the total volume of returned ballots is higher due to more voters overall opting in to vote by absent voter ballot.
As the upcoming election is a primary, Byrum said voters should remember that the ballot can’t be split between parties.
“It is important to remind voters not to ‘split their ticket’ with this primary ballot,” said Byrum. “In Michigan’s primary elections, you must choose one partisan side or the other and only vote for candidates within that section. Regardless of how you vote in the partisan section, you may still vote in the non-partisan and proposal section of the ballot. Voters should also remember to turn their ballot over as there may be more items to vote on the back side of the ballot.”
Polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Aug. 2.
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