Absentee Ballot Questions Facing More Court Action
There are still lots of questions about how votes will be handled and counted during the General Election in Michigan. One issue has become slightly clearer. But there’s still more decision making to come into play. Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens is ruling the Republican-controlled Michigan State Legislature may intervene in a case she ruled on last month. The legislature was not a party in the original case where the Judge ordered absentee ballots that arrive with elections clerks as late as two weeks after election day, November 3rd, must be accepted and recorded in the official count. State legislators, at least two previous Michigan Secretaries of State, and the state and national offices of the Republican Party immediately began pointing out the ruling runs totally against current state law. That says absentee ballots must be in election clerk’s hands by 8 pm election day. They claim the Judge is improperly circumventing state law with a partisan ruling.
All the surrounding activity leads many legal observers to believe the case will end up with the State Supreme Court just before the election. An additional element of the Judge’s ruling allows registered voters an option to designate someone to transport their absentee ballot for them to an election office. That too is specifically outlawed by current state statute. Critics of that type of action claim it promotes what’s called ballot harvesting, a term dealing with a form of voting fraud.