We recently reached out to Sault Sainte Marie City Clerk, Robin Troyer, about frequently asked absentee ballot questions we've heard from local LWV supporters and voters. First, if you have any questions about your ballot or the election process, you may directly reach the Sault City clerk's office at 906-632-5717 or via email at rtroyer [at] saultcity.com. Below are questions we asked and Ms. Troyer's answers:
Question: What information do you want the public to know about voting and voting during the pandemic?
Answer: Nothing has changed on our end or from the voter perspective (or from the August Primary) except for the social distance aspect of the in-person voting. Masks are recommended but not required per the Governor’s Executive Order.
Questions: Can a ballot be invalidated? If yes, what happens when a ballot is invalidated?
Answer: Only time a ballot is not tabulated is if the voter didn’t sign which we call them and let them know to stop in ASAP or the voter passed away prior to the election.
Question: And how does a voter find out if their absentee ballot was invalidated?
Answer: We contact the voter if we have an issue with their ballot – prior to Election Day.
Question: Can voters fix their error on their ballot or is it too late once they submit their ballot?
Answer: We can spoil a ballot and re-issue upon a written request from the voter prior to Election Day.
Question: If a voter signed up for an absentee ballot but decided to vote in-person, may they and what do they do to make the change?
Answer: They can contact the City Clerk’s Office 906-632-5715 (or find their city/township clerk if they do not reside in Sault City: https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/Clerk)
Question: What measures occur to authenticate absentee ballots?
Answer: Signature verification via the State of MI BOE Qualified Voter File.
About counting Absentee Ballots--From the Clerk: Just for clarification, once the Absentee Voter Counting Board initiates the process, the ballot is a secret ballot and the voter’s identity is removed from the process. For example, one inspector opens the envelope, one pulls the ballot and secrecy sleeve from the mailing envelope, one removes the tab, and one removes the ballot. So, by the time the ballot is removed from the secrecy sleeve no one knows whose ballot it is maintaining a secret ballot.
To request your absentee ballot and to vote early, contact your clerk's office or fill out the Michigan Secretary of State's online absentee ballot application here.You must have a valid driver's license to send your application electronically. If you do not have a valid driver's license, then download the application and mail it to your clerk. We recommend you call your clerk and work with them to ensure your application is accepted before the deadline.
Early voting starts Thursday, September 24th.
Deadline to request an absentee ballot (FAQ from the MI SOS Office):
The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, however, it is advised that voters submit their absentee ballot application much earlier than this date to avoid the potential for mailing delays.
Voters can request an absentee ballot be sent to them by mail by completing an absentee ballot application online at Michigan.gov/Vote or downloading an absentee ballot application to complete and return to their local clerk’s office by email, mail, or in person.