Absentee voters who just can’t make up their minds until the last minute, or who change their minds, or who lose or damage their ballots have options. The legal term is “ballot spoiling”. According to the office of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, voters need to submit a written request to their city or township clerk if they need to “spoil” their ballot. They must sign the request and let the clerk know if they would like a new one mailed to them or if they will pick it up in person.
Voters can’t really wait until the very last minute, as they need to have their request in to the clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election, so October 30th this year. They can take care of the whole transaction in person at the clerk’s office on the day before the election. An absentee ballot that has been returned to the clerk may be spoiled in person until 10:00 a.m. on the Monday before the election, and until 4:00 p.m. on that day if the ballot has not yet been returned to the clerk.
Additionally, if a voter loses or destroys their ballot, or never got around to turning in their absentee ballot, they can vote at the polls. They will need to sign an affidavit and vote in person. But, if your ballot is already turned in and you change your mind on election day, it’s too late.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland