INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS)—Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum announced today that she received authorization from the Ingham County Board of Commissioners to enter into contracts to operate a Consolidated Absent Voter Counting Board for the November General Election.
“This Election will require everyone to work together to process the incoming ballots and report unofficial results in a timely fashion,” Byrum stated. “We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of Absent Voter ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election and I have heard from local clerks that they were concerned about being able to process them all. I am committed to ensuring that this Election runs smoothly and will be doing just that by assisting our city and township Clerks with processing these ballots.”
Absent Voter Counting Boards have ordinarily been operated by the City or Township Clerk’s staff or designees and count Absent Voter ballots. In June of 2020, Public Act 95 went into effect, allowing the County Clerk to enter into contracts with local municipalities to operate a consolidated Absent Voter Counting Board. Oakland County operated a consolidated Absent Voter Counting Board for the August Primary Election and Ingham County will do so for November.
“It is important to note,” Byrum continued, “that the increased volume of ballots may take longer to process and, as a result, the unofficial results may be posted later than the public is typically used to. This does not mean that there is a problem; clerks are simply taking the necessary time to ensure that every ballot is counted and our elections remain safe and secure.”
“With misinformation coming from all manner of places, including the White House, and increased scrutiny on our processing of Absent Voter Ballots, I am compelled to pitch in and help to ensure that the process runs smoothly and ballots are counted in an accurate and timely manner,” said Byrum. “I offered the chance to participate to all 21 of the municipalities in Ingham County and am pleased that Meridian Township, one of our larger jurisdictions, decided to do so.”
The Ingham County Election Commission met on Monday to approve over 50 Election Inspectors that Clerk Byrum appointed to work at the Consolidated Absent Voter Counting Board on Election Day and is currently scheduling training sessions for those workers to learn the Absent Voter Counting Board process, and train on the equipment involved.