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Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 89 of 2021
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Section 168.765

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MICHIGAN ELECTION LAW (EXCERPT)
Act 116 of 1954


168.765 Absent voter ballots; safekeeping by clerk; public inspection of applications and lists; delivery to board of election inspectors; voter ballot received after polls closed; information to be posted by clerk; requirements for pre-processing activities for 2020 general election only; election inspector duties; report to legislative committees.

Sec. 765.

  (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (6), a clerk who receives an absent voter ballot return envelope containing the marked ballots of an absent voter shall not open that envelope before delivering the envelope to the board of election inspectors as provided in this section. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (6), the city or township clerk shall safely keep in his or her office until election day any absent voter ballot return envelopes received by the clerk before election day containing the marked ballots of an absent voter.
  (2) Before the opening of the polls on election day or as soon after the opening of the polls as possible, the clerk shall deliver the absent voter ballot return envelopes to the chairperson or other member of the board of election inspectors in the absent voter's precinct, together with the signed absent voter ballot applications received by the clerk from any voters of that precinct and the clerk's list or record kept relative to those absent voters. However, if higher numbered ballots are used under section 717, the clerk shall retain the applications and lists in his or her office and shall keep the applications and lists open to public inspection at all reasonable hours. Absent voter ballots must not be tabulated before the opening of the polls on election day.
  (3) The city or township clerk, or authorized designee of the clerk, shall call for and receive absent voter ballots from the post office at which the city or township clerk regularly receives mail addressed to the city or township clerk on election day. Any envelopes containing absent voter ballots that are received from the post office or from voters who voted by absentee ballot in person in the clerk's office on election day must be delivered to the board of election inspectors or, except as otherwise provided in section 764d, the absent voter counting boards to be tabulated.
  (4) If a marked absent voter ballot is received by the clerk after the close of the polls, the clerk shall plainly mark the envelope with the time and date of receipt and shall file the envelope in his or her office.
  (5) On or before 8 a.m. on election day, the clerk shall post in the clerk's office or otherwise make public the number of absent voter ballots the clerk distributed to absent voters and the number of absent voter ballot return envelopes containing the marked ballots of absent voters received by the clerk before election day and to be delivered to the board of election inspectors or the absent voter counting boards under this act. On or before 9 p.m. on election day, the clerk shall post in the clerk's office or otherwise make public the number of absent voter ballot return envelopes containing the marked ballots of absent voters received by the clerk on election day and delivered to the board of election inspectors, under subsection (3), along with the total number of absent voter ballot return envelopes containing the marked ballots of absent voters received by the clerk both before and on election day and delivered to the board of election inspectors or the absent voter counting boards under this act. As soon as possible after all precincts in the city or township are processed, the clerk shall post in the clerk's office or otherwise make public the number of absent voter ballot return envelopes containing the marked ballots of absent voters received by the election inspectors at the precincts on election day, along with the total number of absent voter ballot return envelopes containing the marked ballots of absent voters received in the city or township for that election. This subsection applies only to elections in which a federal or state office appears on the ballot.
  (6) For the November 3, 2020 general election only, if the clerk of a city or township with a population of at least 25,000 provides written notice in compliance with this subsection to the secretary of state 20 days or more before election day, that city or township clerk, or his or her authorized designee, may between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the day before election day perform certain absent voter ballot pre-processing activities as described in this subsection. The written notice provided to the secretary of state must include the location and hours that the absent voter ballot return envelopes will be opened in that city or township. The secretary of state shall post any written notice received from the clerk of a city or township under this subsection on the department of state website. In addition, the clerk of the city or township shall post the written notice provided to the secretary of state on the city or township website. The board of election commissioners shall appoint election inspectors to the location where absent voter ballot return envelopes will be opened in that city or township not less than 21 days or more than 40 days before the day at which they are to be used. Election inspectors may be appointed by the board of election commissioners under this subsection before written notice is provided to the secretary of state under this subsection. Sections 673a and 674 apply to the appointment of election inspectors under this subsection. All requirements for election inspectors appointed to an absent voter counting board under section 765a apply to election inspectors appointed under this subsection. At all times, at least 1 election inspector from each major political party must be present at the location and the policies and procedures adopted by the secretary of state regarding the handling of absent voter ballot return envelopes and absent voter ballot secrecy envelopes must be followed. After providing written notice to the secretary of state in compliance with this subsection, a city or township clerk, or his or her authorized designee, on the day before election day is only authorized to perform standard processing activities up to and including the opening of absent voter ballot return envelopes and the removal of absent voter ballot secrecy envelopes containing absent voter ballots and to verify that the ballot number on the ballot stub agrees with the ballot number on the absent voter ballot return envelope label. The city or township clerk, or his or her authorized designee, is not authorized to remove absent voter ballots from the absent voter ballot secrecy envelopes. If an opened absent voter ballot return envelope contains an absent voter ballot that is not contained in an absent voter ballot secrecy envelope, the city or township clerk, or his or her designee, shall immediately insert that absent voter ballot into an absent voter ballot secrecy envelope. The opening of absent voter ballot return envelopes must be done at a location designated by the city or township clerk, and the location and opening of absent voter ballot return envelopes must be accessible to challengers as described in section 730. The election inspectors appointed to the location where absent voter ballot return envelopes will be opened in that city or township must never leave the absent voter ballot secrecy envelopes unattended. Once the absent voter ballot return envelopes have been opened as provided in this subsection, the absent voter ballot secrecy envelopes containing the absent voter ballots to be counted must be stored, secured, and sealed in an absent voter ballot secrecy envelope container, as described in section 24k, or stored, secured, and sealed in a ballot container approved under section 24j. The city or township clerk shall record the seal number in the poll book, or an addendum to the poll book, and follow all other policies and procedures adopted by the secretary of state regarding absent voter ballots. The poll book, or an addendum to the poll book, must be signed and dated by 1 election inspector from each major political party who is present at the location on the day before election day. The city or township clerk shall store the absent voter ballot secrecy envelope container containing the absent voter ballot secrecy envelopes in a secure location until election day.
  (7) The election inspectors who are appointed under subsection (6) shall record in the poll book, or an addendum to the poll book, all of the following:
  (a) The number of absent voter ballot return envelopes that were opened on the day before election day.
  (b) The number of absent voter ballot return envelopes delivered to the election inspectors that did not contain an elector's signature and that were returned to the city or township clerk.
  (c) The number of absent voter ballot return envelopes that were challenged, not opened by the election inspectors, and set aside to be processed by the election inspectors on election day.
  (8) The election inspectors who are appointed to an absent voter counting board on election day as provided in section 765a shall do all of the following:
  (a) Verify the seal number recorded in the poll book, or an addendum to the poll book, for any absent voter ballot secrecy envelope container delivered to the absent voter counting board.
  (b) Count and record in the poll book, or an addendum to the poll book, both of the following:
  (i) The number of absent voter ballot return envelopes opened by the election inspectors on the day before election day as provided under subsection (6) and the number of absent voter ballot secrecy envelopes delivered to the absent voter counting board on election day.
  (ii) The number of absent voter ballot return envelopes that were challenged, not opened by the election inspectors on the day before election day, and set aside to be processed by the election inspectors on election day.
  (9) Not later than March 1, 2021, the secretary of state shall provide a written report to the house and senate committees dealing with elections that contains all of the following information:
  (a) The number of cities and townships that performed absent voter ballot pre-processing activities as described in subsection (6).
  (b) The names of the cities and townships that performed absent voter ballot pre-processing activities as described in subsection (6), and all of the following information for each of those cities and townships:
  (i) The number of registered electors in each city or township.
  (ii) The number of active registered electors in each city or township.
  (iii) The number of electors who voted by absent voter ballot in each city or township.
  (iv) The number of electors who voted in person on election day in each city or township.
  (v) The number of absent voter ballots that were not returned in each city or township.
  (vi) The number of electors on a permanent absent voter list in each city or township, if applicable.
  (vii) The number of ballots that had to be duplicated in each city or township.
  (c) The total number of absent voter ballot return envelopes that were opened on the day before election day.
  (d) The total number of absent voter ballot return envelopes delivered to the election inspectors that did not contain an elector's signature and that were returned to the city or township clerk.
  (e) The total number of absent voter ballot return envelopes that were challenged, not opened by the election inspectors, and set aside to be processed by the election inspectors on election day.
  (f) The total number of absent voter ballot secrecy envelopes that were stored in an absent voter ballot secrecy envelope container.
  (g) For each city or township that performed absent voter ballot pre-processing activities as described in subsection (6), whether the number of absent voter ballot return envelopes opened on the day before election day matched the number of absent voter ballot secrecy envelopes delivered to the absent voter counting board on election day.
  
  


History: 1954, Act 116, Eff. June 1, 1955 ;-- Am. 1995, Act 261, Eff. Mar. 28, 1996 ;-- Am. 1996, Act 207, Imd. Eff. May 21, 1996 ;-- Am. 2018, Act 120, Eff. Dec. 31, 2018 ;-- Am. 2018, Act 127, Imd. Eff. May 3, 2018 ;-- Am. 2018, Act 603, Imd. Eff. Dec. 28, 2018 ;-- Am. 2020, Act 95, Imd. Eff. June 23, 2020 ;-- Am. 2020, Act 177, Imd. Eff. Oct. 6, 2020
Popular Name: Election Code




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