“We had 34 ballots that just got returned to us in the mail today.” township clerks express concern over mail-in voting

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Blackman Charter Twp, Mich. (WLNS) Tuesdays May election saw record breaking participation. According to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, 25% of eligible voters cast a ballot compared to the average of 12%.

A big contributor to the election turnout rate is voting by mail. Benson says 99% of all ballots cast were absentee.

But a few township clerks say the postal service struggled to keep up with demand.

“If I could change anything it would be the mail, it would be faster it would be more reliable,” says Blackman Charter twp clerk Sherry Sercombe.

Sercombe says absentee voting applications and ballots were taking weeks to be delivered, and some never arrived.

Leoni twp clerk Kerry Pickett echoed the same complaints, so she reached out to the Bureau of Elections who said her county’s mail goes through Detroit, and right now they are short-staffed because of the coronavirus.

Both Pickett and Sercombe say the postal service made an extra effort to make sure all ballots were delivered, but some fell through the cracks.

“We had 34 ballots that just got returned to us in the mail today,” says Sercombe.

Sercombe says every vote should count, and although the number is small now, she hopes it is fixed before larger elections in August and November.

Six news reached out to USPS but did not hear back.

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