By Mike Kruzman /

With more people than ever voting absentee, a local election official helping share what to expect with the process.

Livingston County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley is working to help voters better understand the absentee-voting process. Because of voter-passed proposal in 2018, all Michigan residents have the opportunity to vote absentee. To do so, voters must sign and submit an application, indicating which elections they are requesting a ballot for. Applications can be submitted in person, by mail, email, or by fax. The local clerk will verify the signature. Ballots can mailed or picked up in-person at the local clerk’s office. When voting, completely darken the box of your choice, using only black or blue ink.

Hundley said the key thing to account for with the August 4th primary is that unlike the March primary where voters had to pick between a Republican or Democrat ballot, both parties will be on the same one. Votes can’t be split between parties for different races, or the ballot will be spoiled. With in-person voting, if a voter accidentally crossover votes, they get a warning and a chance to spoil their ballot and vote again, correctly. With absentee voting, when the ballot is processed on Election Day and receives an error code, the election inspectors will override the error and cast the ballot “as is.” The effect will be that none of the partisan portion of the ballot will count.

After completing an absentee ballot, put it in the secrecy sleeve so the numbered stub is visible. It is very important to remember to sign the return envelope. Ballots can be returned by mail, or dropped off at the clerk’s office, and the clerk will again verify that the signature matches the signature they have on file. All ballots must be returned to the clerk by 8pm on the day of the election to be counted. Finally, the status of an absentee ballot can be tracked online by visiting a link through the Secretary of State. That link is below.