LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With the primary right around the corner voters have exactly one more week to get those absentee ballots in.
But with the deadline coming up, many people still have questions about the whole process.
Absentee ballots got their start in America during the Civil War as a way for soldiers to cast their votes while still being out on the battlefield. Ever since then, they have been an essential part of our voting process.
According to the Michigan Department of State, in the 2020 presidential election, Michigan had more than 3 million people requesting an absentee ballot, which is the 2nd highest amount requested in the country.
The Lansing City Clerk said with this just being a primary the turnout is expected to be much less.
“I can tell you right now 45% of the ballots we issued have not yet been returned so I think that’s a pretty high rate of ballots that haven’t come in when we were a week from the election,” said clerk Chris Swope.
Swope says six that if you don’t get in your ballots into the mail within the next two days, you’ll have to turn them in person just to make sure it’s the right jurisdiction.
“If you’re in Lansing, we have 15 drop boxes and two physical locations that you can drop your ballot of,” Swope said.
After all the votes are in, then begins the hassle of counting them all up.
“By law, we’re not allowed to open them until 7:00 a.m. election day, so we have a compressed time period to process ballots that have been turned in just sitting there for 40 days, “Swope said.
Swope says the other problem is that people are allowed to turn in their ballots as late as 8:00 pm on election night, pushing back the counting process even further.
“A lot of ballots to then gather and collect up we have to check them in, we have to check that signature, we have to balance that, then we have to get it into the absentee ballot board so there’s a delay,” Sope said.
The last thing he warned voters about is make sure to only vote for one party on your ballot. If you mix parties, your votes will not count.