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Lawrence (Larry) Kestenbaum, Washtenaw County Clerk
200 N. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Ed Golembiewski, Washtenaw County Director of Elections
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 6, 2020
WASHTENAW COUNTY CLERK REMINDER:
ABSENTEE BALLOTS ARE COUNTED ON ELECTION DAY
Washtenaw County Clerk/Register Lawrence Kestenbaum has issued a statement as follows:
Many people are worried that there will be a long delay until absentee ballot counts are released. This fear is groundless.
Absentee ballots in Michigan are not put aside until later. They are counted at the same time as in-person ballots. The results will be reported at the same time.
Legislation recently presented to the Governor will give clerks in larger communities an extra day (the day before the election) to work on absentees.
In addition, communities large and small have acquired additional voting equipment and bolstered the number of poll workers hired to process the volume of absentees expected.
Given these measures, I'm quite confident that almost every area will quickly have reports from absentee counting boards.
If you were planning to vote by absentee ballot, there is no reason to change your plans over concerns about delayed processing. Your vote will be promptly counted and reported on Election Night.
Some additional details:
Unofficial election results reported by the Washtenaw County Clerk’s office after the polls close at 8:00 pm on November 3, 2020 will include results from in-person voting precincts as well as the results of Absent Voter Ballots received by the close of the polls. Results from Absent Voter Ballots submitted by 8:00 pm on Election Day will be reported as soon and as often as they are received until counting is complete.
Voters who have received an Absent Voter Ballot are encouraged to vote and return it to their City or Township Clerk without delay.
Absent Voter Ballots may be returned in-person to the City or Township Clerk’s office that issued the ballot or deposited in an approved Absent Voter Ballot Dropbox location. It’s important that ballots are returned to the proper location. Voters can find their ballot delivery locations at Michigan.gov/Vote.
Absent Voter Ballots can be returned by mail to the address printed on the return envelope. Voters who will return their ballot by mail are encouraged to follow United States Postal Service recommendations to send it at least one week prior to the election.
To date, 134,664 voters in Washtenaw County have been issued an Absent Voter Ballot for the November 3, 2020 General Election. 26,567 have already returned their ballot. There are 310,806 voters currently registered in Washtenaw County.
Voters who would like to request an Absent Voter Ballot for the upcoming election or would like to track the status of their application or ballot can do so by visiting Michigan.gov/Vote. The deadline to request that a ballot be mailed to a voter elapses on October 30th, however voters are encouraged to make their request as soon as possible.
Voters may appear in-person at their City or Township Clerk’s office to obtain an Absent Voter Ballot now through November 2, 2020 at 4:00 pm.
Voters are encouraged to make a plan to vote:
First, make sure you're registered to vote.
Visit Michigan.gov/Vote to register to vote or check to make sure your registration is correct and up-to-date. October 19th is the deadline to register to vote online, by mail or in any way other than in-person at your City/Township Clerk’s office.
Voters may register to vote in-person at their City/Township Clerk’s office now through Election Day, November 3, 2020 at 8:00 pm. If you are registering to vote in-person at your City/Township Clerk’s office after October 19, 2020 you must show a credential to verify residency.
Then, determine how you’ll vote.
Vote ‘Early’ by Mail
If you’re registered to vote in Michigan, you can request that an Absent Voter Ballot be mailed to you before Election Day. Visit Michigan.Gov/Vote to submit a request or send an application directly to your City or Township Clerk’s office by email, mail, drop-box, or in-person. Find your Clerk at Michigan.gov/Vote.
Vote ‘Early’ In-Person
Voters can appear in-person at their City/Township Clerk’s office to obtain and vote an Absent Voter Ballot between now and November 2, 2020 at 4:00 pm.
City/Township hours of operation vary so it’s best to check the hours and location by looking up your voter information at Michigan.gov/Vote, or call before you go.
Vote In-Person on Election Day
All polling locations will be open on Election Day, November 3, 2020 from 7:00 am to 8:00 p.m. Find your polling location at Michigan.gov/Vote.
Precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of voters and poll workers, including the provision of PPE from the State, County, and each individual city and township (including masks, gloves, "sneeze guards", face shields, hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray for equipment, and more). Poll workers will be trained to ensure proper social distancing at polling locations, to use the provided PPE, and to follow proper sanitization protocol.
For more information visit Washtenaw.org/Elections, Michigan.gov/Vote, or call the Washtenaw County Clerk’s office Elections Division at 734-222-6730.