MD: Macomb County presidential primary absentee ballots have new look

By Jameson Cook

Macomb County Clerk Fred Miller wants to make sure voters are aware of the new-look envelopes containing absentee ballots for the upcoming presidential primary.

Voters on March 10 will select the Republican and Democratic nominees for president, and in Macomb County also will cast ballots on two countywide ballot proposals and four local community ballot proposals.

Absentee ballot applications were delivered last week to local clerks, who in the next several days will be mailing them to those who have requested them or are on a permanent list to receive them.

“New envelopes containing absentee ballots have a new look,” Miller said. “Absentee ballots will arrive in newly redesigned blue and white envelopes developed in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Service.”

The changes in the envelopes are statewide. They are slightly smaller and have different colors than the prior ones. The previous design was encountering more and more issues with the United States Postal Service, he said.

“The new design will make them easier to be processed by the Postal Service but we don’t want any voters who may be used to the traditional manila envelopes to accidentally throw away their ballot,” Miller said.

Miller said the new design also has other new features, including: 

• The voter’s signature will be on the backside of the envelope, the side they will see when sealing the envelope. 

• The ballot label is on the backside of the envelope, allowing staff issuing ballots and election inspectors processing ballots on Election Day to view the ballot number without flipping over the envelope.

• Clear language to explain delivery options.

• A green-colored, slightly smaller envelope will be used for the voter to mail the completed ballot.

Absentee voting is expected to increase this year following the 2018 adoption of the state Constitutional Amendment, commonly known as “Proposition 3,” that allows all voters to be eligible for an absentee ballot.

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