Up to 15,000 voters able to have their vote count
State Rep. Ann Bollin today said she is grateful absentee voters in Michigan’s presidential primary who selected a candidate who is no longer in the race can spoil their ballots until 4 p.m. Monday.
Bollin said more than 15,000 Michigan voters have already spoiled their absentee ballots ahead of the primary on Tuesday. She noted the Democratic primary ballot was printed when there were 15 candidates running. As of this morning, 12 have left the race – five of whom dropped out in the last week.
“Many people who voted absentee are exercising their option to spoil their ballots, so they can select a candidate that’s still in the running” Bollin said. “Thank goodness they still have this option and fortunately, Michigan’s current election law protects the voter’s right to have their vote count and to have that voter matter in these presidential primaries.”
Bollin, who served as the Brighton Township clerk for 16 years before being elected to the Michigan House, also said she’s glad the Secretary of State has finally acknowledged that it’s OK if election results come a little later than they have in the past.
“I’ve been saying all along, people have to pack their patience and wait for results,” Bollin said. “I’m glad the Secretary of State is finally taking the pressure off local clerks and allowing them to do their work. Maintaining election integrity must always be top priority. That’s where their focus must be, not on delivering immediate results.”
Bollin said she also recognizes there is a need for some changes to accommodate Proposal 3 which passed in 2018. She has been working hard on several reforms to help local clerks handle the challenges created by the increase in absentee ballots without compromising election integrity.
One measure sponsored by Bollin, House Bill 5123, would require any city or township with more than one precinct to establish an absent voter counting board. These panels, which are optional under current law, are dedicated strictly to processing mail-in ballots on Election Day.
Another plan she introduced would allow communities to increase the size of their election precincts to reflect the increase in absentee voters. Cutting down on the number of precincts will allow communities to free up more election workers, voting machines and other supplies to count absentee ballots.
Bollin is also looking at options to address the anticipated influx of absentee ballots.
“The goal must always be to run an election with the highest level of integrity, and I never want to take away a person’s right to cast a vote that matters,” Bollin said. “I’m working hard to set our local clerks up with the tools they need to run credible and smooth elections in the coming months and ensure that all votes will count when cast by an eligible voter.”