Michigan lawmakers reach deal to add additional time to process ballots

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 3:56 PM EDT
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UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette, Escanaba and Sault Ste. Marie may soon be able to begin processing absentee ballots two days before an election.

The proposed law applies to cities above ten thousand people. The house passed the measure last week.

It’s now on Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk, awaiting her signature. Right now, clerks like Kyle Whitney in Marquette can’t start processing absentee ballots until after polls close on election day.

“I think in the City of Marquette that is something we will consider using if we have a really high-volume election like the past presidential election in 2020. I do think it is vital.”

Whitney says while the city could have the option to utilize early processing, he does not foresee it being used this November.

“I think we are kind of finding a groove and learning,” Whitney said. “Everyone is learning at the same time as far as absentee balloting changes. I don’t anticipate using it in November, but we will keep it on the back burner.”

Marquette County Clerk Linda Talsma reminds everyone to read ballot instructions prior to turning in your vote.

“Definitely read your ballot instructions,” Talsma said. “Reach out to your local clerks or myself and we are happy to answer any questions regarding your ballot if in any way you are confused or just need a little information.”

Talsma says voters should do research on the candidates and proposals prior to voting.

“Take your time and do a little homework, don’t rush your ballot back too quickly it is okay,” Talsma said.

Absentee ballots must be turned in to an official ballot drop box or by mail by 8 p.m. on election day. Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center website to find an official drop box near you.