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Michigan absentee voters may change ballots they've already sent in

An absentee ballot in an envelope.
Nadya Peek

Lots of people have been surprised to learn that absentee voters in Michigan can change their ballots even if they've already cast them – as long as they do it by 4 p.m. on Monday.

"The old ballot will be voided," said Michigan Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams. "It will not be counted."

Woodhams said absentee voters can request a re-do for any reason. But it's usually to correct a mistake, like voting for too many candidates or skipping portions of the ballot.

"This is really an uncommon thing," Woodhams said. "But it does happen from time to time."

Woodhams said voters who want to recast an absentee ballot should get a new ballot and vote it in person at their clerk's office by 4 p.m. Monday, November 7. He said there's not enough time left before Tuesday's election to change an absentee ballot by mail. 

"We want to warn people that they shouldn't be showing up on Election Day expecting to be able to vote and have their absentee ballot voided," said Woodhams.

According to Woodhams, about 915,000 absentee ballots have been returned in Michigan so far for the 2016 election. That's up 2.6% from the same time in 2012.