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15,300 Absent Voter ballots rejected in MI, 453 in Ingham County

December 14, 2020
An absentee ballot filled out at the Meridian township clerk photographed on Nov. 2, 2020.
An absentee ballot filled out at the Meridian township clerk photographed on Nov. 2, 2020. —
Photo by Alyte Katilius | The State News

2.9% of Michigan's 15,300 rejected absent voter ballots came from Ingham County, according to data from the Secretary of State

453 absentee ballots were rejected in the county, with the top reasons for a rejection being the move of a voter to a different jurisdiction, a late ballot and the death of a voter. 

According to data from Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, 96 absent voter ballots were rejected in East Lansing. 

60 ballots were rejected because a voter moved, and 25 ballots were returned late. Other reasons for ballot rejections in the city are a missing signature, the signatures not matching, vote cancellation and death. 

Despite the claims from Donald Trump and other Republican leaders that there were irregularities in Michigan’s results, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the rejected ballot data demonstrates the integrity of the state’s elections.

Additionally, Benson expressed her gratitude for the clerks across the state who ensured all 3.3 million absent voter ballots cast were accurately tabulated.

“I am extremely proud of the 1,600 clerks across the state who embraced the record setting turnout including more than double the number of absentee ballots ever cast in a Michigan election and vigilantly ensured that all valid ballots were counted,” Benson said in a statement. “It is also gratifying that our voter education efforts, alongside those of countless other nonpartisan organizations, in addition to the installation of secure ballot drop boxes across the state, combined to dramatically reduce the rate of voter disenfranchisement due to late submission and signature errors.”

Despite over double the amount of absentee votes than the August election, only 4,700 more ballots were rejected in the November election than in the primary two months before, which saw the rejection of 10,600 ballots. 

Across the state, 3,328 ballots were rejected because of a late return, as opposed to the 6,400 rejections in August for the same reason.

Additionally, the percentage of ballots returned without a signature went down from August to November, from 0.14% to 0.1%. 

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