Man receives two other people’s absentee voter applications, what to do if it happens to you

Michigan

DELTA TWP., Mich. (WLNS)– When David Hamlett was looking through his mail, he saw three absentee voter applications, but only one had his name on it.

“I got three voter applications, all to different names, but all to the same address,” said Hamlett.

He says he didn’t recognize the names. 6 News looked into the situation, and found out that the other two names on the applications, were past tenants. One of them is no longer living.

“First I was just going to discard it, but then I thought, I bet I’m not the only one this is happening too,” Hamlett said.

He’s right, he might not be the only one. Jake Rollow is the director of communications and external affairs for the Secretary of State office, and says when those 7.7 million applications went out, they were sent to active and inactive voters.

“Inactive registered voters are people who either haven’t voted in some time and or haven’t responded to a mailing,” said Rollow.

Multiple applications being sent to one address is something Rollow says they knew could happen.

“When you do that to the entire voter list and you know that a number of those people who are already in this questionable status, we absolutely knew that we would hear from people like this person,” Rollow said.

If you do fill out an application that doesn’t belong to you, will you get a ballot?

“The answer to that is no because your signature wouldn’t match the signature on the voter registration, from when that person, who is now deceased, registered to vote,” said Rollow.

“Let’s say I do find out what their signature and it matches theirs, then I could vote? I could get a ballot? How would you be able to prevent that? I feel like there are going to be a lot of ways that people could try to trick the system,” said 6 News reporter, Kalie Marantette.

Rollow responded by saying “I think the thing to keep in mind here is that, the fact that we mailed applications, doesn’t mean that it increased the chance of people trying to commit fraud.” He went on to add “just because you might have found a signature and been able to match it, doesn’t mean that there isn’t another way on the back end that we could determine that you’re in fact casting a ballot illegally.”

If you do get an application for someone who doesn’t live at your house, you should write “No longer lives here” on the envelope and put it back in the mailbox.

“That way it will go back to the clerk and it closes the loop on the data point we need on updating and maintaining the voter registration list,” said Rollow.

For Hamlett, he says he will most likely return them in person.

“I would probably return them in person to the township hall, and at least get them cleaned off my address.”

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