Absentee voter putting his ballot in the Election Drop Box outside Lansing City Hall. Credit: Asya Lawrence
Because absentee ballots doubled compared to the 2016 presidential election, Ingham County’s counting board is critical to this election. This county board is made up of county residents who will process and account for each ballot.
Absent Voter Counting Board
An absent voter counting board or AVCB is a separate group of inspectors who process absentee ballots in designated locations with their own tabulators.
The AVCB handles large numbers of absentee ballots said Ingham County Clerk, Barb Byrum. She said changes have been made this year in terms of operating the counting boards.
Typically, absentee counting boards usually occur at the local level at the city and township clerk’s office; however, the Governor signed Public Act 95 of 2020 that allows for a consolidated county absentee counting board, said Byrum.
Need for an AVCB due to high volume of absentee ballots
Michiganders are choosing to avoid physically going to the polls and are voting via absentee ballot instead.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson recently announced that over 2.7 million voters have requested an absentee ballot. Compared to the 2016 presidential race, there has been a 145% increase in requests of mail-in ballots, according to The Detroit News.
Clerk Byrum explained the county has received 60,771 absentee ballots.
In this edition of Focal Point, the director of MSU Museums is suspended for keeping his sources under wraps. Vice President MIke Pence visits Lansing and things are heating up in the Democrats. Michigan’s primary is on March 10, and we speak with Lansing’s city clerk to learn about voting in the primary.
Williamston City Council held its bi-monthly meeting on Oct. 14 to discuss management of microplastic pollution in local water, absentee ballots being on the rise in Williamston, and its search to fill the vacant spot on the board.
When reached the audience participation portion of the agenda, executive director of the Ingham Conservation District, Michelle Beloskur, approached the podium. In the effort to reduce microplastics in the water, Beloskur is working with Smart Management of Microplastic Pollution in the Great Lakes to provide mesh laundry bags to Williamston residents and inform community officials on the effects of microplastic pollution.
The community is a year into the three-year project and a new prototype of a sensor has just been created. The sensor will exist in the pipes and can detect how much microplastic and what kind is in the water. The goal is to have four sensors stationed in the city by next year, making Williamston one of the main hubs of the study.
By JOSH THALL
Capital News Service
Lansing — With voter turnout in Michigan steadily declining, some lawmakers and state officials are looking for ways to make voting easier. In the 2014 midterm election, 41.6 percent of Michigan’s voting-age population turned out, according to the Michigan Secretary of State website. That’s a drop from 50.7 percent in the midterm election of 2006 and 42.9 percent in 2010. To help encourage voting, Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren, recently introduced an amendment to the Michigan Election Law to allow for no-reason absentee voting. That means voters would no longer need an excuse to get an absentee ballot.
By CAMRYN GINSBERG
Capital News Service
LANSING — More than 58,000 Michigan voters didn’t mark their ballots for any presidential candidate Nov. 6, according to unofficial data from the Secretary of State. That’s twice as many as those who participated in the 2008 election but skipped voting for president. “There will always be those people who are hard to please or cannot make up their mind,” said Bill Ballenger, publisher of the newsletter Inside Michigan Politics. “Some people may have been disappointed in Obama but uninterested in Romney.”
Barack Obama received 2,560,015 votes in the state this year, about 300,000 fewer than in 2008.