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Absentee Ballots Released as State Legislature Approves Election Changes

Absentee ballots for the November 8th election are in the mail.

Ballots were sent out late last week to those who have submitted applications. Applications can still be submitted, and any registered voter in Michigan can vote with an absentee ballot. No reason is required.

Ballots can be obtained from your local municipal clerk’s office. You can also apply online here.

Meanwhile, an election law reform package passed by the state legislature last week will allow clerks to begin counting absentee ballots in advance of election day – but not in the Copper Country. Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign the package.

Clerks had lobbied for the change, saying that the increased number of absentee ballots was overwhelming them on election day, and delaying reporting of results. They will now be able to start tabulating two days early – but only in municipalities of 10,000 people or more.

The largest municipality in the Copper Country is the city of Houghton, with a population of 7,805.

Other changes will take place after the upcoming election. They include an expansion of the types of venues that can serve as polling locations to include banquet halls, conference centers, and recreation clubhouses, as long as they are not owned by a sponsor of a political committee or candidate. Active duty military members will be able to return their ballots electronically. 

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