Drive-thru voting and mail-in ballots; Michigan experiences voting during COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

Leoni Twp, Mich. (WLNS) Today is election day for many communities across Michigan, its also the first election since COVID-19 hit the state. As you can imagine, voting during a global pandemic looks a lot different.

Unless someone has a disability, voters at the Leoni Twp Hall had to vote from their car.

Voters had to pick up their ballots through a drive-thru window. From there, they would pull off to the side to complete the ballot, before jumping back in line to drop it off.

Leoni Twp clerk, Kerry Pickett says she expects voting-in-person turnout to be low, because many people voted by mail.

“Typically it’s been about a 25% return and we’re probably looking at about a 30% right now.”

But Pickett warns, voting by mail is not a perfect system. The Township clerk says her office has taken dozens of calls a day with people concerned that their mail-in ballot never arrived, or it wouldn’t get back to the clerk’s office in time because of delivery delays.

Mahone lives in Leoni Twp and says his ballot wasn’t delivered until yesterday, so instead of mailing it in, he dropped it off in person.

Pickett says the delays are largely because Leoni Twp gets its mail through Detroit and right now they are short staffed because of the coronavirus.

An official in the secretary of state’s office reached out to 6 News and said they are not aware of any specific issues with any post office branch and overall voting by mail has worked extremely well.

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