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City sees absentee ballot surge

October 21, 2012
By KYLE WHITNEY - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - This election season, the city of Marquette has seen a large amount of absentee ballot requests and returns, according to a city official.

City Clerk Dave Bleau said Wednesday morning that the city had issued 1,545 absentee voter ballots and had already received 639 completed ballots.

"I get the feeling that people have their minds made up. In the past, we received absent voter ballots in a large degree much closer to the election," said Bleau, who added that the city began sending ballots out in the last week of September. "The next week we started getting ballots returned," he said.

During a single day last week, the city processed more than 100 absentee ballot requests, according to Bleau. If requests continue at a similar pace, the city will likely send out more ballots than during the 2008 election season, when Marquette mailed out about 2,000.

In order to obtain an absentee voter ballot in Michigan, a voter must be over the age of 60, or be unable to reach a polling location in person on Nov. 6.

According to Bleau, the city saw far fewer late voter registrations this year, when compared to the 2008 presidential election, when more than 32,000 voted across Marquette County.

"We didn't see a lot of the political party voter registration drives that we saw four years ago where there were so many new voters that registered because of that," Bleau said.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His email address is



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