LIVONIA, Mich. – For political reasons, many politicians -- mostly Republicans -- have tried to convince the electorate the absentee ballots are not a safe and secure way to vote.
So for many clerks what happens with absentee ballot return rates could be an indicator of trust, or lack of trust, in our voting processes.
Nash was reporting a 75 percent return rate on absentee ballots on Tuesday morning, but that number is actually down, and there’s something else she is seeing trending.
“We are also getting some that requested an absentee ballot. They received the absentee ballot and they are now surrendering them at the poll so they can vote in person,” she said.
But this is just one barometer. A recent NBC poll shows 89% of Democrats have confidence their vote will be properly counted while only 41% of Republicans share that view.
“When you talk about the poison in the well, it comes down to absentee voting,” said Romulus City Clerk Ellen Craig-Bragg. “As you can see I’m sitting in my car right now going from precinct to precinct.”
Both Livonia and Romulus are fairly purple communities. Both voted for Obama twice, voted for Trump in 2016 and then voted for Biden in 2020. Both are a pretty good bellwether for picking presidents and showing the pulse of voters. So while more absentee ballots have been requested and returned, the percentages are down.
“I think our task is trying to convince voters and assure them they can trust the system,” said Craig-Bragg. “They trusted it before 2020 until the false narrative was out there.”
More coverage: Michigan Elections