Michigan chooses simple design for absentee ballots

Millions expected to vote by mail in November

Michigan officials chose a simple design for the absentee ballot.

DETROIT – For this election a record number of Michigan residents have already started the process of filling out their absentee ballots.

The whole process can be a bit overwhelming to some first time absentee voters. Thankfully, the state has left no stone unturned to create a simple design to help everyone.

While voting by mail might seem easy, that is often not the case. In Michigan’s last primary more than 10,000 ballots were invalid.

That happened because clerks couldn’t verify signatures or they came in late. In November millions are expected to vote by mail and that’s where the Center for Civic Design comes in.

On its website the Maryland based group says civic design is about making every meeting between a citizen and the government effective and pleasant.

“It’s not any harder to write a good letter than a not so great letter. It’s not any harder to design a good envelope than a not so great envelope. Let’s put that little extra energy at the beginning of the process so 5 million voters in Michigan have a better experience,” said Whitney Quesenbery, director of the Center for Civic Design.

So much of the work of elections goes into mechanics. Getting the polling places set up, poll workers trained, and ballots out on the right date.

Center for Civic Design is a non-partisan group that does work across the country to get states to help residents to vote, which seems like a bit of a bright spot in what has been a pretty difficult election year.

The state didn’t have to pay Center for Civic Design a dime for its work. In fact, the group is funded by grants and offers its designs to the state at no cost.

The state then just has to pay to print the absentee ballots, which it would have done anyway.


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About the Author:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.