GANDER: Michigan’s Mail-In Ballot Increase Plan

Michigan is already on track to surpass voter turnout records. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase of Michiganders opting for mail in ballots, and with new voting rules passed in 2018, many are opting to vote absentee for the first time.

With this new influx of absentee ballots, city clerks across the state of Michigan are preparing ahead of time by hiring new staff and bringing on new equipment that helps improve processes. Each office has safety protocols in place as well to ensure ballots are counted accurately, and effectively.

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette of Traverse City shared about the expected increase of ballots in his community, “We’re up over 300% more at this point than the election process four years ago, we’ve really been ramping up our ability and resources to handle all of those ballots.”

City Clerks of large and small communities, such as Grand Rapids, Madison Heights, and Taylor, are also taking steps to ensure that leading up to election day, they are prepared for the increase in absentee ballots. They’ve refined their City’s processes to ensure their communities ballots are accurately counted.

“There’s not one person or two people overlooking all of the ballots, it’s a whole series of people.” said Madison Heights City Clerk Cheryl Rottman, “There are a lot of checks and balances that go into the absentee ballot processing.”

Overall, the state of Michigan may break records this year with it’s voter turnout. And with this influx of voting, there’s an increased responsibility to ensure ballots are all counted in a timely manner. That’s why these additions to staff and processes are so important to ensure our democracy represents all voters.

To read more about how Michigan clerks around the state are preparing for the influx of absentee voting, check out the Gander here.

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