Stories indexed with the term ‘absentee ballots’

Court: Don’t Count Ward 3 Defective Ballots

In a ruling from federal judge Lawrence Zatkoff, the city of Ann Arbor has been ordered not to count votes in the Ward 3 city council primary race that were cast on misprinted absentee ballots – which omitted the name of one of the candidates. The order was issued on July 22, 2014. [.pdf of July 22, 2014 order]

The ruling makes clear that votes in races other than the Ward 3 city council race can be counted from the misprinted ballots. In-person voting takes place on Aug. 5, 2014.

That ruling came in response to a motion filed by Ward 3 candidate Bob Dascola’s attorney, Tom Wieder, on  July 7, 2014, asking that the city be enjoined from counting votes in … [Full Story]

Dascola Mistakenly Left Off Absentee Ballot

After winning a federal lawsuit to secure the right to be placed on the Ward 3 Ann Arbor city council Democratic primary ballot, Bob Dascola’s name was inadvertently omitted from the first wave of absentee ballots sent out to voters. The Washtenaw County clerk’s office was alerted to the problem on the morning of June 27, 2014.

Ed Golembiewski, chief deputy county clerk and elections director, spoke with The Chronicle by phone and said that corrected ballots were currently being printed and would be provided to the city clerk’s office by noon on Monday, June 30 for mailing. The exact wording of the letter to voters accompanying the corrected ballots was being worked out by the county and city clerk’s … [Full Story]

First Wave of Absentee Ballots: Sent

Ann Arbor voters in Ward 3 and Ward 4 who requested absentee ballots for the Aug. 6, 2013 Democratic primary election will start receiving them soon. The Ann Arbor city clerk’s office reported sending the first wave of absentee ballots on June 21.

The only primary for the Ann Arbor city council is in Wards 3 and 4 – a Democratic primary in both cases. In Ward 3, voters will choose between incumbent Stephen Kunselman and Julie Grand. In Ward 4, voters will choose between incumbent Marcia Higgins and Jack Eaton.

A tally of the spreadsheet provide by the clerk’s office shows that 297 absentee ballots were sent to Ward 3, and 401 were sent to Ward 4 voters. [.jpg of map showing ... [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Absentee Ballots: First Wave

The Ann Arbor city clerk’s office has released the list of the first wave of absentee voters for the Aug. 7, 2012 primary election. The list includes the names and addresses of those voters who have applied to receive absentee ballots. This first wave is expected to be mailed on Wednesday, June 27. In the city of Ann Arbor the list totals 1,918 ballots, with the following breakdown by ward: Ward 1 (174); Ward 2 (558); Ward 3 (307); Ward 4 (451); and Ward 5 (428).

Candidates for public office often subscribe to the clerk’s absentee voter mailing list, which arrives in periodic installments by email up until the election takes place. Direct mail or door-knocking campaigns target absentee voter lists … [Full Story]

Absent Ballots: Romney Strong in Ann Arbor

Based just on totals from absent voter count boards, it looks likely that Mitt Romney will a decisive majority of Ann Arbor votes in the Republican presidential primary. In absentee ballots counted for all five wards, Romney received 55% of the vote compared to Rick Santorum at 20%. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich each received 10% of the vote. President Barack Obama was uncontested in the Democratic primary.

In Ward 1, Romney won with 43% of the vote (42 absentee votes), compared to Santorum with 24% (24 absentee votes), Paul with 21% (21 absentee votes) and Gingrich with 8% (8 absentee votes). In the Democratic primary, 95 votes were cast for Obama in Ward 1.

In Ward 2, Romney took 61% of … [Full Story]

Recounting the Rabhi-Fried Recount

Last Thursday, a hand recount of ballots was conducted in the District 11 Democratic primary election for Washtenaw County commissioner. Initial results from the Aug 3. election had yielded Yousef Rabhi as the winner in a field of four candidates – by one vote. The candidate with 997 votes counted on election day, compared to Rabhi’s 998, was Mike Fried, who asked that the ballots be recounted.

Alice Ralph Jan BenDor Conan Smith Mike Fried

Before the Aug. 26 recounting got started, Conan Smith (left), a current county commissioner acting as one of Youself Rabhi's official "watchers," chats with Mike Fried (right), who'd asked for the recount. Shooting video for the Michigan Election Reform Alliance was Jan BenDor. Seated in the background is Alice Ralph, who came third in the balloting for the District 11 seat.

The process started around 12:30 p.m., and about four hours later in the lower level conference room of the county building at 200 N. Main St., the final ballots had been recounted – the last ones coming from Precinct 2 in Ann Arbor Township. [District 11 covers parts of southeast Ann Arbor and one precinct in Ann Arbor Township.]

Fried summed up the afternoon, conceding to Rabhi – who was still the winner after the recounting, with a relatively comfortable margin of two votes: “Well, congratulations!”

Fried continued with compliments all around for  the board of canvassers and the election inspectors who handled the recounting, saying he was amazed that they had finished in four hours.

The board of canvassers consists of Tony DeMott (R), Melodie Gable (R), Ulla Roth (D), and Carol Kuhnke (D). The news was first reported by The Ann Arbor Chronicle live from the scene: “Rabhi Prevails on Recount.”

The work might have been completed sooner, had it not been for a snafu with the Ann Arbor Township ballot box. Initially, the box for Precinct 1, not Precinct 2, had been delivered for recounting. Getting access to the correct box depended on tracking down someone with a key to the room in the township clerk’s office, where the ballots are stored.

Recounted totals for the four candidates: Yousef Rabhi, 999; Mike Fried, 997; Alice Ralph, 280; LuAnne Bullington, 108.

The afternoon included a range of scenarios that illuminated some of the more arcane aspects of the voting system. Also in attendance was Joe Baublis, who will be on the ballot for the Republicans in November for the District 11 county board seat. He posed a question at the start of the proceedings: How much will this recount cost taxpayers? [Full Story]

Column: A Pitch for Absentee Voting

Primary elections in Michigan fall on Tuesday, Aug. 3 this year. That’s also the day the Detroit Tigers start a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Here’s a suggestion for Ann Arbor city voters: Don’t plan to go the polls. Instead, plan to take the whole day off and go to the ball game. You can still vote, vote, vote for your home team – you’ll just need do it with an absentee ballot.

Absentee voter applications are not printed on baseballs. This is just someone's execution of the concept that "Every article should have art!"

Now, you don’t have to go to the game in order to qualify for an absentee ballot. But just to be clear, if you do plan to make a whole day event out of your visit to Detroit to watch the game, that will absolutely qualify you for an absentee ballot. If you expect to be out of town, that’s a legally valid reason for voting absentee.

Maybe some of you would even like to make the short drive in to the ballpark after a Monday night stay at the Westin Book Cadillac – from what I understand, it’s a pleasant place to spend the night, even if you’re not a Washtenaw Communty College trustee.

What about you Chronicle readers who aren’t baseball fans? If you want to vote absentee, the current election law specifies a limited set of other reasons you can use, which include being older than 60, being in jail, or having religious beliefs that prevent attending the polls.

The topic came up a bit more than a week ago, when the Ann Arbor city Democrats hosted a forum for candidates contesting the Democratic primaries for Michigan’s 52nd and 53rd district state House seats. Jeff Irwin, who along with Ned Staebler is running for the 53rd District seat, threw out an idea for a tweak in Michigan’s election laws.

Irwin said he’d like to see “on-demand absentee” voting – citizens would be able to obtain an absentee ballot and avoid the lines at the polls for any or no reason at all. It’s not some new screwball idea – it’s been around a while and enjoys a lot of support, from Washtenaw County clerk Larry Kestenbaum, among others.

For the time being, though, the application for an absentee ballot requires that voters commit, you know, really commit – just like the guy on the mound has to commit to delivering the ball to the plate after starting in that direction – to at least one of the allowable reasons under the state statute. Through June 17, according to the first Absent Voter report sent out last week via email by the city clerk, over 1,800 Ann Arborites have already committed to one of those reasons. [Full Story]