Grand Blanc Township clerk managing historic absentee voting levels

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - The Michigan Secretary of State’s office says nearly 3 million people in the state have requested absentee ballots already.

In some local communities like Grand Blanc Township, clerks are already seeing that surge in ballots. The township is preparing for Election Day and the high tension that could come with it.

Nonstop preparations for the Nov. 3 election have been under way for the township since the August Primary. The workload has only continued to increase just a few weeks away from the election.

“I’m taking about 100 calls a day,” said Grand Blanc Township Clerk Cathy Lane.

She said voting numbers have skyrocketed since the 2016 election.

“In November of 2016, we had 17,771 voters total. As of this morning, we had already sent out 12,623 absentee ballot,” Lane said.

This weekend alone, 500 absentee ballots went out to eager voters.

“August of this year, 10,275 so just in absentee ballots we’re over 3,000 more. In 2016 we only had 5,311 absentee ballots,” Lane said.

She knows this election has a different tone than past elections, but she’s reminding everyone that patience, understanding and kindness will be key to a successful day at the polls.

“Be patient, use social distancing, be thoughtful of the others in line and especially be patient of the election workers there, who will have a long day,” Lane said.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Lane reminds people that no campaign slogans or gear identifying a candidate, including shirts or masks, can be worn at the polls.

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