During the 2016 presidential primary election, the City of Farmington processed 824 absent voter (AV) ballots.
Already this year, Clerk Mary Mullison said, her office has issued more than 1,800. She expects the number to top 2,000 and, on Monday, council members unanimously approved a contract for services to help process them.
Mullison explained that Oakland County has offered to run ballots through their high-speed scanners. She said some election workers have decided not to participate due to age or health issues, so this would free up those who typically spend Election Day processing AV ballots to work in polling places.
The county’s services are free of charge, and the city will save about $1,300 that would have been paid to AV board workers.
While all six polling stations will remain open, Mullison said, “We like to encourage people to vote absentee to keep people safe and keep our election workers safe, too.”
Mayor Pro Tem Joe LaRussa noted that the county will pick up only those ballots cast by 4 p.m. on the day before the August 4 primary and asked how many Mullison expected on Election Day. Based on a 8 percent return in the March primary, she said, the 25-50 ballots per precinct could easily be processed at polling places.
Mullison said security measures won’t vary from any other election. “It’s the same thing, it’ll just be transported a few extra miles.”
There’s still time to apply for and receive an absent voter ballot. Visit farmgov.com/City-Services/City-Clerk/Election-Information/August-4,-2020-Primary-Election.aspx to learn more.