ACLU of Michigan Applauds Flint City Clerk for New Initiatives to Help Absentee Voters

Affiliate: ACLU of Michigan
July 29, 2020 3:30 pm

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DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan applauds the Flint City Clerk for taking new steps that will help voters cast absentee ballots less than one week out from the August 4 primary election. Flint City Clerk Inez Brown’s initiatives follow Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s recommendations to voters statewide: drop your absentee ballots off in person at your local clerk’s office, or your clerk’s absentee drop box if available, rather than mailing them. This will guarantee that voters’ ballots are received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Flint City Clerk Inez Brown announced on July 28 that she would be implementing two new strategies to help Flint voters exercise their right to vote:

  • Deputizing citizens as election assistants to drive to voters’ homes to pick up absentee ballots from voters who are unable to drop their ballots off at this point before the election; and,
  • Establishing four drop-off locations in the community, in addition to city hall, where voters can bring their completed ballots.

In addition, the clerk has installed an absentee ballot drop box with 24-hour access in front of city hall. And, pursuant to court order, the city clerk’s office will be open to the public every day, including on Saturday and Sunday, through the August 4 election.

As a reminder, registered Flint voters have the right to apply for, receive, and submit an absentee ballot in person at the city clerk’s office until Monday, Aug. 3, at 4 p.m., the day before the election. Voters who need to register to vote, or update their address, may do so in the clerk’s office until Tuesday, Aug. 4, at 8 p.m. Once registered, the voter can choose to vote by absentee ballot in the city clerk’s office or vote at their polling location.

Dan Korobkin, ACLU of Michigan legal director, has this reaction:

“The more accessible the ballot is to all voters, the stronger our democracy will be. We are grateful that Clerk Brown is taking these important steps to provide Flint voters with additional options to cast their absentee ballots between now and election day. Election officials must continually work to protect every citizen’s right to vote.”

Earlier this month, registered Flint voters filed and won their lawsuit challenging the Flint City Clerk for failing to comply with the rights of absentee voters when her office was closed and not issuing absentee ballots in a timely manner leading up to the Aug. 4 election. The ACLU of Michigan, its cooperating attorneys in Flint, and Covington & Burling LLP filed the lawsuit, Barkey et al. v Brown et al., in Genesee County Circuit Court.

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