Both Oxford, Addison townships see large increases
By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
The Voting Policies in State Constitution Initiative, also known as Proposal 3, was approved on November 6, 2018, receiving a “yes” from nearly 67-percent of registered Michigan voters.
Among the eight policies this proposal added to the Michigan Constitution was no-excuse absentee voting, allowing any registered voter to request a mail-in ballot. Previously, voters had to meet specific criteria to vote absentee.
Due to this passage, and concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19), Addison and Oxford Townships have experienced significant increases in the number of absentee ballots distributed ahead of the August 4 Primary Election.
In 2016, the last Primary Election year, Addison Township had just 421 voters choose to go the absentee route. As of July 23, per data from Clerk Pauline Bennett, 1,492 absentee ballots have been distributed this year.
Consisting of 5,585 registered voters, this total represents 26.7-percent of Addison voters, compared to just 8.4-percent of their 4,975 voters in 2016.
Oxford Township has experienced a 152.62-percent increase of their own, according to figures from Deputy Clerk Susan McCullough. Four years ago, the township had 1,851 voters request an absentee ballot, 1,566 (84.6-percent) of which were returned.
As of July 24, 4,676 absentee ballots have been sent out in 2020, 1,831 (39.1-percent) of which have been returned thus far.
Voters have until 4 p.m. on Monday, August 3 to obtain their absentee ballot in-person. The Clerk’s Office in both townships will be open during regular hours on Thursday and Friday, July 30-31, for election purposes, as well as Saturday, August 1 from 8 a.m.-to-4 p.m. for absentee requests and ballot returns.
Absentee ballots must be received, either by mail or dropped off, by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
On August 4, voting precincts will be following social distancing guidelines, which may make the lines seem longer than they are. The precinct workers, who are your fellow residents, will be focused on conducting the process in an efficient and safe manner.