City and Township Clerks in Michigan can get a jump start on counting absentee ballots after a bill was signed into law by Governor Whitmer.

Former Secretary of State and current State Senator Ruth, R-Holly, sponsored Senate Bill 757.

Cities and Townships with populations of more than 25,000 can begin processing absentee ballots before Election Day, as long as they give notice of that action to the Secretary of State (SOS) at least 20 days before Election Day. This provision would apply only for the November 3, 2020, general election. The Department of State would have to post any written notices on its website, and the clerk would have to post the notice on the city or township website.

The bill would also allow election inspectors on AV counting boards in cities or townships to work in shifts.

Additionally, it would provide requirements for AV ballot drop boxes and notification requirements for AV ballot applications and ballots that were rejected for missing a signature or having one that did not match the signature on file.  Under the new law, clerks will notify voters of any reason their vote won’t be counted within 48 hours.

State Sen. Ruth Johnson
State Sen. Ruth Johnson


“A record number of people in Michigan voted by an absentee or mail-in ballot during the August primary, and we are expecting that three million Michiganians could vote absentee in the Nov. 3 election — more than double the number from the last presidential election,” said Johnson. “These reforms would improve efficiency and protect the integrity of our elections by allowing local clerks to begin the preprocessing of ballots to prepare them to be counted more easily on Election Day and help reduce mistakes caused by long hours.


“We are anticipating historic turnouts in the November election, and we are committed to ensuring every Michigander can cast their vote safely, and that their votes are counted. Whether you mail in an absentee ballot, drop it off at your local clerk or vote in person on Election Day, your vote will count on November 3rd,” said Governor Whitmer.  “Michigan voters: request your ballot, fill it out, and drop it in the mail by October 19th or take it to your local clerk’s office. Your voice will be heard in November.”

Calhoun County Clerk-Register Kimberly Hinkley will be a guest on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show on Thursday (October 8th) at 8:45 am to talk more about voting in the upcoming election.

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