Absentee ballots found in storage closet - WNEM TV 5

Tough Questions: Absentee ballots found in storage closet

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

When you fill out an absentee ballot, you likely expect the personal information you provide will be safe and secure.  

"My son votes absentee ballots, my father votes absentee ballots," says Marti Murphy.

But Murphy is worried his family's information may be at risk after stumbling upon what he says is a major violation of voters' trust. And he says he has pictures that prove it.

"It has the social security numbers on it, the birth date and the person's name and address," Murphy explains.

He says he discovered boxes of absentee ballots inside the recreation hall at the Bangor Township hall.

"Bangor Township had an energy expo on Sept. 24." Murphy says. "I was looking for a bathroom, opened up a door, and it was a closet."

Inside Marty says he found boxes of ballots wide open with sensitive forms in full view.

"I don't want anyone looking and seeing how I voted. They shouldn't be there, they should be locked up if they're not destroyed," he said.

TV5 showed Marty's photos to Bangor Township voter Lisa Schram.

"Any kind of identity fraud can happen from this," Schram said as she looked at the photos.

She wants to know from Bangor Township officials how the boxes of ballots ended in plain view.

"I think they should probably store people's personal information in a safer place," she said.

She also wants to know if her own identity is now at risk.

"It kind of makes you wonder if your should actually go and vote, if it's open for everyone to go and look at, then it doesn't seem like a good idea," Schram said.

We spent a good amount of time trying to get a comment from Bangor Township. They declined to answer our questions on camera.

The clerk did say she is very concerned about the documents possibly being out in plain view.

She says she is determined to find out how Marti Murphy was able to get those pictures.

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