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Voters in Michigan confused over absentee ballot reminder, but it's nothing to worry about

Nov 3, 2016

The Michigan Democratic Party wants to make sure all voters who got absentee ballots turn them in on time. But some recipients have been confused.

Several voters have called their county clerk's office to ask about postcards, which were only sent to absentee voters who have yet to mail their ballots in.

Michigan Democratic Party spokesman Paul Kanan says the postcards were never meant to confuse anybody, but instead, to encourage them to vote on time.

“We just want to make sure that everybody who wants to vote does vote and has their vote counted,” Kanan says.

Ed Golembiewski, the elections director with the Washtenaw County clerk's office, says voters have been calling in confused over the postcards, but that's not unusual.

“It's not uncommon that we do we get phone calls from voters about something they've been sent in the mail,” Golembiewski says.

“We’ve been getting dozens of calls about [these postcards], but we’ve been reminding people to check the status of their ballots online,” he says.

Kanan says any time mailing documents is involved, there is a bit of a time delay. He says there is even room for simple mistakes.

“There is the possibility that some of the confused [voters] had already mailed their ballots back by the time they received our on notice, in which case, they just crossed paths in the mail,” Kanan says.

“We’ve had several instances where people received the flyer, called their local clerk, and the clerk could not locate the voter's ballot,” he says. “After insisting [local clerks] continue to look for it, in one instance, they were able to find the voter's absentee ballot in the backroom.”

Kanan says both major parties send out reminders about early and absentee voting, especially during high-profile elections.

Both Kanan and Golembiewski urge voters to check the status of their absentee ballot at the Secretary of State’s website.