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Alpena Township saw five times as many absentee ballots this election compared to 2016


Statewide absentee votes cast in yesterday’s primary nearly doubled compared with 2016, according to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.

In one northern Michigan township there were five times as many absentee ballots cast in the primary.

According to data from the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, there were 807 absentee ballots cast in the 2016 primary in Alpena County. As of Monday, some 2,500 absentee ballots were cast.

Most of the increase came from Alpena Township which saw 200 absentee ballots in 2016 and over 1,100 this year.

Dana Malcomson works with the Alpena Township clerk's office. She said right around the time no-reason voting was expanded her office started tracking a list of voters interested in voting absentee.

“You can actually send any voter that has signed up for one an application and then they return the application and then we can send them a ballot.”

Malcomson said she believes the list helped remind voters they could vote absentee. And, she said, she expects the list to grow.

“We just had a couple people call this morning because they talked to neighbors, they went to the polls. The lines were not terrible yesterday but it alleviates that part too where they are not having to stand in line.”

The influx of absentee ballots means a lot more work for the clerk's office but Malcomson said she enjoys it.

“It’s my passion. I will tell you that. It’s my passion. I love doing the civic part of this. You’re helping your community to help exercise their right to vote. That is their right.”