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City commissioner has voting by mail wrong

EDITOR:

I couldn’t believe what I was reading when I read Mr. Blasier’s letter titled Mass Mail Voting. From a city commissioner, no less. Mr. Blasier has done a vast disservice to voters with his misinformation.

Absentee and “mass mail” voting are one and the same. The voters in Michigan voted to allow all registeered voters to submit ballots by mail two years ago. Absentee and universal mail in ballots are handled in the same way.

Please remember that all that is being sent out to voters are absentee applications — ballots do not get sent out without a returned application. First off, if you sign and return your application, your signature is matched (along with your birthdate and address) to the Qualified Voter File from when you registered. If any of that doesn’t match, you are contacted — if it is your signature that doesn’t match, you will be asked to come in with ID to verify it was you who filled it out. Only then is it processed, and a ballot issued. Then, when you return your ballot, your info and signature are verified once again on your ballot return envelope. If it doesn’t match, you are contacted and must come in with ID before it will be accepted.

Are people still registered that are no longer at that address? Of course, because it is the resident’s responsibility to inform the SOS or their clerk’s office if they are no longer in that jurisdiction or they need to register in their new one.

Do people get multiple applications for the same person? Possibly, because political groups can request voter lists and send them out. But if you send in more than one, our system will show that we’ve already received one…. and only one can be processed.

Do ballots get lost in the mail? Of course! Once it goes to the post office, it is out of our hands. But we have options of dropping our ballot at our voting precinct clerk’s office or drop box.

Can people have two ballots? Yes, (though it is highly unlikely) but only one can be counted.

Check with your local clerk, they do a public testing of equipment which shows you how the tabulators work. Absentee ballots are tabulated exactly as if you went in to the polls, and not opened or processed until election day. It is simply a convenience for those who are unable to get to the polls — for instance, the poll workers themselves, medical staff who work 12 hour shifts, police and fire who work 24 hour shifts, people who are out of town, people who don’t drive, senior citizens and the handicapped who may have difficulty standing in line,, etc. I’m an election worker and I still vote by mail.

I encourage one and all (including Mr. Blasier) to volunteer as an election worker, poll watcher, etc. It’s an excellent way to become informed and confident in our voting system and we need more of us!

Teresa Ross

Escanaba

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