Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons calls it the largest influx of absentee ballot voting.
205,073 absentee ballots have been issued one week ahead of the November election. Compared to 2016, there were 70,779 ballots requested with a 90 percent return rate.
Lyons says right now, around 30 percent of this year’s ballots have not been returned but she expects a very good return rate, based on historical precedent.
With seven days to go, the deadline for an absentee ballot to be mailed out to voters is this Friday. Voters should return them to a secure drop box in the jurisdiction where you are registered to vote. You could also turn them into your township or city clerk. Posthumus Lyons says she does not advise people to mail them back as the possibility exists that they may not be counted. The boxes are secured, and many of them are under 24 hour video watch. They are also checked regularly on a daily basis.
She says its important for people to understand that ballots must be returned or in the boxes by 8pm on Election Day. If not, that ballot cannot count.
Lyons also says absentee voting does not mean early voting.
“We are not an early voting state. We are an absentee voting state. There’s a big difference. And the biggest difference of that is, an absentee voting state like Michigan, you the voter have a right to change your mind if you learn new information, or you turned in your absentee ballot and you think you’ve done something wrong.”
The deadline for an absentee voter who’s submitted their ballot and wishes to change or “spoil” their ballot can do so but must do so by 10am this Monday, November 2nd.
Michigan allows citizens to register up to the day and including the day of election day. However, if you still need to register, you must do so in person at your local clerk’s office and cannot do so at the poll.
For more information on voting in Kent County visit their Webpage.