Mismarked absentee ballots causing issues in Ogemaw County

Some absentee ballots in Ogemaw County were sent out with incorrect codes, causing many to wonder if their vote will be counted on election day.
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 6:54 PM EDT
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OGEMAW COUNTY, Mich. (WNEM) - Some in Mid-Michigan are reporting they received absentee ballots with faulty code numbers, leaving many to question whether their vote will be counted on election day.

“Are you kidding me,” said Ogemaw County Clerk Breck Gildner when she found out about the problem with the over 1,800 ballots sent out.

“All of the absentee ballots that had already been sent out between September 24 and October 17, those ballots were not going to be able to read through the tabulators,” Gildner said.

She tells us Ogemaw County’s vendor, Grand Rapids based ElectionSource, used the wrong file to print the absentee ballots. Gildner says ElectionSource worked quickly to fix the issue.

“So, ElectionSource redid the ballots, the correct ballots, the blue ballots with the proper security codes on the bottom,” Gildner explained. “They rush printed them, brought them up to us, hand delivered them, and we got them all out to our township clerks.

Now, all 17 precincts in Ogemaw County are working to spoil the incorrect ballots that have already been filled out. Gildner tells TV5 if you’re a voter with one of theses bad ballots, you have three options; get your bad ballot tossed and request a new absentee ballot and send it in, vote at the polls in-person on election day, or leave your bad ballot at the clerk’s office so the election staff can take care of it after polls close on election day.

“We have a team of Democrat and Republican, and they are basically just going to duplicate the ballots that will not be able to read through the tabulator,”Gildner said. “They’ll duplicate them on to a good ballot that will be able to be read.”

Gildner wants these absentee voters to know their vote will count.

“I am 100 percent confident in all of our processes here,” Gildner said. “I want our community to feel reassured, and I want them to feel like it’s okay. They can vote absentee, they can vote in-person. I want them to believe in our system.

Gildner tells TV5 Ogemaw County will continue to use ElectionSource in the future.