UP counties use counting boards for next election

Counties and cities across the peninsula are anticipating a high number of absentee ballots.
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 2:54 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Several counties in the U.P. are expecting a surge in the number of absentee ballots this year as citizens do their best to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

To meet the expected increase, many local councils have instituted a counting board to go through all the absentee ballots. This group of election workers has the task of processing all the absentee ballots so other workers don’t have to.

“Some of our precincts have become so big that having an AV counting board gives the election workers more time to just concentrate on just doing the absentee ballots,” explained Jennifer Kelly, the Houghton County clerk.

The counting boards will be organizing ballots by party vote, but will not get a look at who voted what.

“This room’s gonna look a whole lot different,” said Marquette City Clerk Kris Hazeres. “We’re gonna have three teams of two people processing absentee ballots. It’s basically gonna be a big assembly line.”

Clerk Kelly wants to assure that the process is handled carefully, without repeated votes or more than one ballot sent to each citizen.

Voting for the state primary takes place on August 4 with polls opening at 7 a.m.

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