More voters are using absentee ballots in Mid-Michigan

(WLNS) – In Michigan, and across the country, election officials are seeing increases in absentee voting.

Local clerks say there are multiple reasons these numbers keep climbing.

“It helps election workers because then there will be less people that will be going on election day to go through the lines,” Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said.

“People want to vote early,” Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus said.

The numbers show that they’re already hitting, if not exceeding, the number of ballots issued in the 2012 general election. Local clerks say they expect to issue hundreds, if not thousands more ahead of Saturday’s deadline.

“I’ve been doing a real push to encourage people to vote by absentee ballot and to make a plan to vote,” Byrum explained.

It’s as easy as walking through the door, heading to the desk, filling out your information, getting your ballot, skipping the lines, and casting your vote.

“I do like going to the polls because you get to visit with people in the community and there is an energy in that but if you have to work and your on a tight schedule it’s really nice to be able to take time and do this ahead of time,” Meridan Township absentee voter Christine Teneglia said.

There are restrictions though.

“In Michigan you have to have one of six reasons,” Dreyfus said.

Dreyfus is hoping to change that law in the state before the next election.

“So that anybody can choose to vote absentee ballot without needing to list a reason,” Dreyfus said.

19 other states in the country still require a reason for requesting an absentee ballot.


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