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Michigan lawmakers address ballot accuracy as investigation into postal service continues

Postmaster General to testify Friday
Posted at 5:15 AM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 05:15:05-04
LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) —

With just 74 days until the general election, ballot accuracy and voting access has never been more important.

7 Action News is continuing to track some concerns from the Board of Canvassers in Wayne County from the primary and how lawmakers are addressing ongoing issues at the postal service.

We’re hearing from Senator Gary Peters, one of the lawmakers leading the charge when it comes to questioning the new postmaster general – who set to testify before a senate committee Friday morning and the house oversight committee on
Monday.

Meanwhile in Wayne County, a bipartisan board designed to certify election results, say there’s some things that should be fixed before November.

"We're asking the state bureau of elections to look at the processes and procedures that took place to make these inaccuracies occur," said Monica Palmer.

Wayne County’s Board of Canvassers, comprised of two Democrats and two Republicans, says the Aug. 4 primary counts were off.

The errors did not impact the election results according to the board, but they’re now asking Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office to review training before the general election.

The documents shows about 46 percent of Detroit's precincts were out of balance by at least one ballot.

“Once they get the training, they have to understand that the work that they’re doing on election night is of utmost importance," said Jonathan C. Kinloch, (D) Vice Chair of Board of Canvassers in Wayne County.

A City of Detroit spokesperson saying, "We are reaching out now to the secretary of state and city clerk to make sure this gets fixed immediately. We cannot have a recurrence of these problems in November."

And then there’s the mountain of concerns surrounding the U.S. Postal Service. Senator Gary Peters says changes since the new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy took over include restrictions on the number of mail trucks and sorting machines.

“When it comes to critical medicines and paychecks and benefit checks and just small businesses trying to do business it’s simply unacceptable," said Sen. Gary Peters.

And heading into Nov. 3, when 2.5 million Michiganders are expected to vote absentee. Senator Peters says the cuts and the delays must stop. He says his office has received more than 7,500 complaints from Michiganders regarding mail delivery.

“Not having efficient mail delivery in timely mail delivery could frankly disenfranchise folks and their ability exercise their right to vote," said Sen. Gary Peters.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which Sen. Peters is a ranking member, will convene Friday at 9 p.m., again DeJoy is expected to testify.

Also happening Friday, the state Board of Canvassers is meeting virtually and certifying the primary results is on the agenda.