Absentee ballots seem to be falling into a “black hole” in the postal system, as local clerks note a significant number of voters that have requested absentee ballots have not received them.

At a recent Clerk’s meeting, Green Oak Township Clerk Michael Sedlak learned this is a problem affecting many municipalities. Sedlak says there appears to be mailing problems with the distribution center in Pontiac and, based on the way the mailing system has been responding, clerks are taking a proactive approach to ensure absentee voters are not left out of the upcoming elections. Sedlak says anyone that has submitted an absentee voter request and has not received their ballot yet is encouraged to contact their municipality’s clerk.

He tells WHMI this was also an issue leading up to the 2016 election, with ballots becoming “lost” for over a month. Sedlak says at that time the postal system told township officials the problem had been resolved and even gave them special labels to go along with the ballots, but that hasn’t helped. Instead, Sedlak says what has helped is taking the ballots directly to each post office to be processed in- house and sent out to residents the following day.

While some have not received their ballots at all, others are experiencing a noticeable delay between the times of their request and actually receiving the ballot. One Green Oak Township official says it took over three weeks for theirs to arrive. Once received, Sedlak encourages residents to either bring their completed ballot into township hall, or leave it in the drop box out front. In addition to contacting the township, Sedlak says residents who have yet to receive their absentee ballot can come to township offices where they will be issued one immediately. (DK)