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Answers to some commonly asked Election questions
Published: 10/12/2020

City Clerk Cortney Hanson recently went live on the City of Novi Facebook page to answer some commonly asked questions leading up to the November Election. Check out the short video and see below for a list of other questions and answers. You can also visit cityofnovi.org/elections for additional information to prepare for November.

When will I get my ballot? 
You can track your ballot at Michigan.gov/vote. Click on the Am I Registered page. Once you are there fill out your name, birth month, birth year and zip code. It will then direct you to a page listing when your application was received and when your ballot was sent.
 
Why am I receiving multiple absentee ballot applications?  
You may have received multiple Absentee Ballot Applications in the mail because political parties, interest groups, candidates and even individuals are allowed to print and distribute absentee ballot applications. Just know that you will only receive one ballot no matter how many applications you submit to our office.
 
Why did I receive an absentee ballot application for someone who no longer lives at my address? 
Our qualified voter list is constantly changing. Despite our best efforts, residents do not always tell us when they move. If you receive an application for someone who no longer lives at your address, please mark the envelope as “Not at this address” or “Return to Sender” and place it back in the mail. You can also send us that information by taking a picture of the application and emailing it to us at elections@cityofnovi.org.
 
Why do I have to apply for an absentee ballot? 
Absentee ballot applications are used to ensure that the voter requesting a ballot by mail is who they say they are. The application collects personal information and requires a signature that is verified using voter registration data in the Qualified Voter File. By sending absentee applications, clerks are able to update voter information to make sure that when it’s time to send ballots, those ballots are only sent to verified voters. 
 
I am on the Automatic Application List so why do I have to keep filling out a new application for every election?
Being on the Automatic Application List guarantees that you will receive an application for a ballot in the mail. It doesn’t grandfather anyone from never filling out the application again. We have to verify that the voter is who they say they are, that they are still alive and that they are still living at that residence. 
 
What is the difference between an absentee ballot and a ballot issued in the precinct? 
The only difference is that voters can vote in the comfort of their home instead of standing in line at a precinct. Absentee ballots are the exact same paper ballot as a ballot issued in a precinct. Absentee ballots are also run through a tabulator on Election Day and are stored in the same secure containers as ballots issued in a precinct.
 
If I vote under the straight party category, but there is another candidate that I want to vote for on the ballot of a different party, does that nullify my ballot? 
No, you can vote straight party on your ballot and still choose candidates from other parties on the ballot. 
 
What happens to my ballot after I turn it in? 
When we receive your ballot, your envelope is scanned, signature verified, your ballot marked in the system as received and it is stored in a locked vault until Election Day. Ballots received by the Monday before the election will be opened and the ballot will be kept in the secrecy sleeve.  Ballots will be secured overnight in secure ballot containers. On Election Day, the stub will be removed from the ballot prior to the ballot being removed from the secrecy sleeve so that votes cannot be tied back to a voter. 
 
What signature of mine are you using to verify against my ballot signature? 
In most cases, t is the same signature that is on your driver’s license. That signature is what is linked to your voter registration so that we have your most up to date signature on file.  Also, we have hard copy signatures for most voters on file from their voter registration forms.
 
Are all absentee ballots counted or just if it is a close race? 
ALL BALLOTS ARE COUNTED. Just like at the precincts, everything has to balance and match. We also go through a County canvass after the election is over to verify that all totals are correct. 
 
If I make a mistake on my ballot what do I need to do? 
You need to submit a written, signed statement to the City Clerk’s Office in order for them to spoil (void) your ballot and issue you a new ballot to vote. 
 
I received my ballot and have decided that I want to go to the polls, what do I need to do now?  
Be prepared to spend a few extra minutes at the precinct while the precinct workers call the City’ Clerk’s Office to verify that you have not voted your absentee ballot, you have to fill out an affidavit that you did not vote your ballot, hence causing a delay at the precinct.