Election 2016: Calhoun County Elections Chief Says They Are Ready
Calhoun County polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, November 8, 2016, as in-person voters will mobilize and head for their precincts. They will close at 8 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Absentee Ballots Still Available Monday
As of Monday morning, voters can still request an absentee ballot, according to Teri Loew, chief deputy clerk of elections in Calhoun County. Those who request an absentee ballot on Monday will have to complete it on-site and turn it in immediately thereafter, Loew said.
In Calhoun County, Loew adds, the most common reasons cited for needing an absentee ballot are age - those 60 and older automatically qualify for absentee ballots - and being out of town on Election Day. She tells WBCK there has been an uptick in the amount of absentee ballot requests.
Click the player below to hear Loew explain the difference between absentee ballots and early voting (which Michigan does not have).
Checks and Balances
Loew tells WBCK county elections staff have checked and re-checked their systems, checked and re-checked voting equipment, checked and re-checked computers and back-up systems.
"We are ready," Loew tells WBCK.
She also reassures voters Calhoun County - and Michigan's - elections systems have not been breached. As well, Loew said the Qualified Voter File system is safe and secure, and steps have been taken to assure and verify that safety.
Loew said various heightened security measures have been implemented ahead of this year's election, including the suspending of voter registration accounts that have not been used in the last 60 days. This is so access cannot be gained through an inactive account.
A backup system of reporting results to the state has been established. Loew said it is a paper system, not dependent on electronic technology.
Speaking of electronic systems, the county - and entire state - have backup systems ready in the event of an Internet access failure.
Click the player below to hear Loew discuss other security measures and how any voter intimidation would be handled.