Absentee Ballot Frequently Asked Questions

Absent Voter Frequently Asked Questions:
The City of Dexter has issued 1960 absentee ballots (approximately 56% of Dexter’s Registered Voters). Voters have called or e-mailed with some similar questions. Below, we will attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Are there outdoor drop boxes where I can return my ballot?
The City has two outdoor drop boxes, both are marked with “City of Dexter.” These drop boxes are for City of Dexter residents only. Residents of neighboring townships should contact their Township Clerk for information on their drop boxes. The first City of Dexter drop box is located next to the Main St. door of the PNC Bank building at 8123 Main St. The second drop box is located to the left of the Sheriff’s Office door at 8140 Main St. City staff checks these drop boxes multiple times per day, and they are a no-contact alternative to returning the ballot in person to the City Office.

I have heard about “early voting” or “early in-person voting,” what are these options?
In Michigan, the terms “early voting” and “early in-person voting” all refer to the absentee ballot process. Absentee ballots may be issued over the counter to City residents at the City Office Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5pm, but it is the same ballot that people receive when they are issued and mailed an absentee ballot. All returned absentee ballots are verified and stored for processing and tabulating on Election Day.

How does the straight party voting option work?
Voters may select the straight party voting option to select that party’s candidates in all partisan races without marking each box for each candidate of that party. Voters that select the straight party option will still need to fill in the boxes to vote in the non-partisan and proposal sections.

If I use the straight party voting option, what happens if I mark a box for a candidate in one of the partisan races?
It is perfectly acceptable for a voter who marks a box to vote a straight party ticket to still fill in boxes to vote in individual partisan races. Marks made for candidates in individual races will override the straight party option in that race only, and the straight party option will still hold for all races where a candidate is not specifically marked. For example, if I select the straight party option for Party A, then want to vote for a candidate in a specific race that is of Party B (aka “splitting the ticket”), the vote will count for that one candidate in Party B, then also count for candidates of Party A in the remaining partisan races.

If a voter selects a straight party ticket option, they may also still mark boxes for individual candidates of the same party as their straight ticket option. For example, if I select a straight party option for Party A, then also mark a box for a candidate in a race that is of Party A, the vote will still count.

What issues with the ballot can cause my vote to not count?
Not filling in the box for the option/candidate that you would like to vote for.

All of the races on the ballot indicate a “Vote for Not More than (#)”. If you vote for more candidates/options than that number, your vote in that specific race will not count. Your selections in the remaining races will still count.

If you select two or more straight party ticket options, they will cancel-out and no candidates will be selected. However, if you then proceed to mark individual candidates in each race, your selections will count.

If you make an error, you may submit a request to the City Clerk to spoil your current ballot and have a new ballot issued.

If I accidentally make a mark on my ballot, can I correct it with liquid white out or correction tape?
Please do not use liquid white out or correction tape on the ballot. If you accidentally make a mark, you may submit your ballot as-is, or you may request to have your current ballot spoiled and be issued a new ballot.

What if I accidentally tear my ballot or spill coffee on it?
If the perforated ballot stub at the top of the ballot is torn a little bit, that is not a problem. If there is a tear or a spill in the main body of the ballot, we ask that you request to spoil your ballot and be issued a new ballot. Tears and significant spills in the body of the ballot may result in election inspectors having to duplicate your ballot during processing on Election Day.

I am voting absentee, what happens if my signature does not match the signature that you have on file?
If we receive your absentee ballot and there is either no signature, or the signature that we have on file does not match, we will attempt to make contact with you as soon as possible to get the issue resolved. If we have a phone number on file for you, we will attempt to call you. If we have an e-mail and no phone number on file for you, we will attempt to contact you via e-mail.

I accidentally tore my green ballot return envelope after sealing it (or had to re-open it) what do I do?
If you accidentally or intentionally opened your green ballot envelope after sealing it, you may bring your ballot to the City Office, and we can issue you a new green envelope in which to seal your ballot. If there is only damage to the green envelope, you do not need a new ballot.

How do I know that my ballot has been received by the Clerk's Office?
You can verify that your ballot has been received by entering your information at www.michigan.gov/vote. You can also contact the City Office at 734-426-8303.