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Push is on to get Michiganders to return absentee ballots before August primary

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint's city clerk is defending her office’s handling of absentee ballot applications ahead of the next month’s primary election.

This month, the ACLUalleged the Flint City Clerk needed to speed up the processing of absentee ballot requests. Ajudge orderedthe clerk’s office to clear a backlog of applications.

Flint City Clerk Inez Brown says more than 11,000 requests have been processed and nearly a third of the primary ballots have been returned.

“We are up to date, contrary to what...anybody may say.   We are up to date,” Brown told reporters Tuesday.

Brown criticized those who have questioned her office’s handling of the absentee ballot applications, accusing them of “suppressing the vote” by raising doubt in voters’ minds.

Statewide, almost two million absentee ballots have been issued. That's almost as many ballots cast in total in the 2018 August primary.

The Michigan Secretary of State office is encouraging voters who already have a ballot at home to fill it out and sign the back of the envelope.

The SOS office says, with the election a week away, voters should put ballots in the mail immediately to avoid possible U.S. Postal Service delays.  Another option for voters would be to deliver their absentee ballot to their local clerk's office.

The ballots must be at local clerk offices by 8 pm on election-day to be counted.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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