by PEG Contributor, Bette Cotzin
According to the Michigan Secretary of State website, there were close to 11,000 rejected ballots in the August primary election. More than 80% were due to signature verification issues or late arrival.
|Ballot Late||No Signature||Voter Moved||Voter Deceased||Signature Did Not Match|
*Refers to voters who died after casting their absentee ballot but before Election Day.
|Voter Cancelled||Envelope, No Ballot||ID Not Confirmed||Incarcerated||Total|
NBC News has advice for “5 Things to Do to Keep Your Ballot from Rejection:”
Request your absentee ballot immediately! If voting by mail, vote early to avoid potential delays in mail delivery OR use a Ballot DropBox. Each clerk’s office has a DropBox. Additional Drop Boxes are being placed, but be sure to only use a dropbox in the jurisdiction where you vote….or it will be rejected! Go to BallotPower.org to locate your Drop Box locations.
Know your state’s absentee ballot deadline
The ballot must be received by the clerk’s office by 8 PM Election Day. The postmark is irrelevant.
Don’t mess with your signature and don’t get creative
According to the National National Conference of State Legislatures, Michigan law dictates that absentee ballot return envelopes are printed with a statement that must be signed by the voter. The legality of returned absentee ballots is determined by comparing the signature on the statement with the digitized signature in the qualified voter file or the registration record. If the signature on the envelope does not agree sufficiently with the signature on record, the ballot is rejected.
And follow the instructions very carefully: If it says to sign the back of your envelope, do that. “If it says to use black or blue ink, don’t use green or red or markers. If it says fill in the oval, fill in the oval — don’t circle it or use a checkmark,” said Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute and a former director of elections for Denver. “These things can create issues.”EPT. 6, 20200
Check your status. And your polling places
You can check to see whether you are registered, where your polling place and drop boxes (in your jurisdiction) are located as well as the status of your absentee application and ballot itself by going to BallotPower.org.
You can register in person up to 8 PM on Election Day at your clerk’s office. If you are registering any other way, your completed voter registration application must be received or postmarked by October 19, 2020. To register online go to the Michigan Voter Information Center.
Don’t vote twice — and beware of misinformation
Voting twice is illegal!
And if voters see other misinformation on Facebook or elsewhere, they should notify the platform and election officials: “If you see something nefarious that doesn’t seem right, report it,” according to Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute and a former director of elections for Denver.
NOTE: There is a wealth of voting information on the Michigan Voter Information website.