Officials: What to know one week from Election Day

WEST OLIVE, Mich. (WOOD) — With less than a week until Election Day, local clerks have a few reminders for those still needing to cast their ballot.

Michigan’s top election official, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, took to social media Tuesday posting, “It is too late to rely on the U.S. Postal Service for absentee ballots.”

In lieu of mailing in your ballot, Benson is instructing voters to return completed ballots to their local clerk’s office or drop box.

But not any drop box will do.

“In Michigan specifically, your ballot has to be returned and it has to be counted by your local jurisdiction clerk,” Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck said. “So, your city or your township where you live that has to be where the ballot is returned to.”

In Ottawa County, where close to 95,000 people have requested to vote absentee, Roebuck said they’ve had some voters return ballots to the wrong drop box. It’s a mishap that will only get more difficult to correct moving forward.

“Our clerks have done a phenomenal job in making sure misplaced ballots that were dropped in the incorrect drop boxes are getting back and forth between those communities, but that is obviously a very significant challenge as we get closer to Election Day.”

Roebuck said printed on the outside of the absentee envelope, voters will find the address of their local clerk’s office where they can either hand deliver their ballot inside or use the designated drop box out front.

For those not yet registered to vote, local clerks say there’s still time to do so.

“Michigan allows voters to register up to and including Election Day,” Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus said during a virtual press conference Tuesday.

The only catch is you must to register in person.

“At this point, seven days out prior to the election, the only way a citizen is able to register to vote is to go in person to their city or township clerk’s office to register,” Posthumus said.