Absentee Voting – FAQ   What if?  

Answers provided by Washtenaw County Director of Elections Ed Golembiewski

Q - What if I received my absentee ballot but now want to vote in person on Election Day?

A – Several options are available:

1 – Take your absentee ballot to the voting station and surrender it, then vote.

2 – Take your ballot to the local clerk’s office and surrender it.

3 – Fill out an “affidavit” at the polls attesting to the fact that you have not returned your absentee ballot to the clerk.

Q – On the ballot, can I fill in the “Straight Party Ticket” box and still vote outside that party for specific candidates? (for example: selecting “Democratic” in the “Straight Party Ticket” box but then voting for a candidate who is in a different party.)

A – Yes. All your straight party votes will be counted as well as those outside that party. And if you vote for only one candidate in a particular race, the other candidates’ boxes will remain empty.

Q – What if I forgot to sign my absentee ballot return envelope or my signature doesn’t match my voter record?

A – Your local clerk’s office is supposed to reach out to voters if they discover a problem, hopefully in time for you to go in and make a correction or re-do the ballot.

Q – What if I screw up my ballot at the polling station but don’t know I’ve done so, such as voting for three candidates when you’re only allowed to vote for two.

A – The voting machine will alert you to your mistake and you can then get another ballot from the poll workers. If you ignore the machine’s alert, then your vote for that specific “elected post” will be voided. The rest of your votes will still be counted.

Q – How can I tell if my Absentee ballot was counted, if, for instance, I haven’t been alerted to any reason for rejection.

A – Call your local clerk’s office. They have a list of those people whose ballot was rejected.

Q – Can Poll Watchers or Poll Challengers interact at all with voters in the polling station?

A – No. A Poll Watcher is only allowed to watch, and a Poll Challenger is only allowed to challenge a voter based on specific criteria (citizenship, age, residency, whether they are registered to vote or whether the voter is on the Absentee Voter list), but those challenges can only be made to the volunteers working the polls, not directly to the voter.