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Clerks, Secretary of State: Too late to rely on postal service for absentee ballots

They suggest dropping ballots off to drop-boxes & clerks office
File photo Absentee ballot voting
Posted at 2:55 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 18:38:58-04

KENT CO., Mich — With just week to go until Election Day, clerks and Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson are urging voters not to rely on the United State Postal Service to get their ballots in on time.

Instead, they’re encouraging you to drop absentee ballots in a secure drop-box or your clerk’s office.

There’s also some important deadlines they want you to keep in mind.

Kent County Clerk, Lisa Posthumus Lyons said, “Your right to vote is sacred and so is your right to safety.”

That’s why she wants to make sure your vote gets counted.

“At this point with seven days out, I do not encourage putting your absentee ballot in the mail,” she said.

Posthumus Lyons along with Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson made those recommendations on Monday as the clock ticks towards November 3rd.

“I want to encourage all voters who want to cast their absentee ballot, to return their ballot to one of our secure drop-boxes in the jurisdiction where you are registered to vote or I want to encourage you to hand-deliver your absentee ballot to your city or township clerk.”

Posthumus Lyons said that Kent County has sent out 205,073 absentee ballots this year, which is more than double the 2016 presidential election. Those are part of more than 3.1 million absentee ballots sent out across the state of Michigan.

So far, more than 2 million absentee ballots have been collected.

Those numbers are the reason Posthumus Lyons said it’ll take longer to learn the results of the election.

She said “It’s not a delay, counting the votes is the process, so please just be patient and we are going to do everything we can to report those results as quickly as possible, but we are not going to sacrifice security and accuracy for speed.”

If you’ve already sent in your absentee ballot, but changed your mind, there’s time to correct it through the clerk’s office.

“We are not an early voting state, we are an absentee voting state and you have a right to spoil your already submitted absentee ballot for whatever reason until 10 am the Monday before the election,” Posthumus Lyons said.

With more focus on ballot drop-boxes Posthumus Lyons wants to reassure everyone, that they’re safe.

“All of our drop-boxes are locked and secure with lock and key, they are checked multiple times a day, and many of them have security cameras to make sure that those who utilize the drop-box can do so with confidence,” she said.

Just make sure they get there before the deadline of November 3rd.

Posthumus Lyons said “If your ballot is not to your clerk or placed in a secure drop-box by 8 o’clock, that ballot by law cannot be counted.”

If you’d still prefer heading to the polls November 3rd V Posthumus Lyons said they’re ready.

“The polls will be open and they will be safe. Our clerks across the county have been busy modifying our polling locations to adhere to CDC safety guidelines and proper physical distancing as well. It will be safe to vote in person.”

Deadlines to keep in mind

· Friday, Oct. 30th: Last day to request absentee ballot be sent to you by mail

· Monday, Nov. 2nd: Can vote absentee at clerks office until 4pm.

· Tuesday, Nov. 3rd: Must have absentee ballot return to clerks office or in drop-box by 8pm.

Unregistered voters can still register at their clerks office and vote an absentee ballot there through 8pm on Election Day, Nov. 3rd.

To find your clerks office or ballot drop-box location, visit Michigan.gov/Vote.