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Lansing Prepares Early Primary Ballots

Chris Swope with primary election ballots
File Photo
Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope says more than 8,000 presidential primary ballots will be mailed on Friday.

Michigan’s presidential primary is on March 10th, but elections officials are gearing up for early voting.

Michigan no longer requires voters to explain why they want to vote before election day, and in Lansing, workers are preparing more than 8,000 ballots that will go in the mail on Friday.

A video shared by the Michigan GOP is being referred to the Attorney General for investigation as "election misinformation" after claims of an unlocked ballot box were debunked by the City Clerk and Secretary of State.
Credit Scott Pohl / WKAR/MSU
Another option for early voters in Lansing: this drop box at the South Washington Office Complex Election Unit

City Clerk Chris Swope says the phrase “absentee voting” has become a misnomer, adding “we’re trying to transition into calling it vote at home or early voting if you come in person to my office.”

Swope says many voters will receive their ballots by Monday, which is the same day as the Iowa caucuses. As a result, some people will make their choices at the same time as this year's first national presidential vote.


They have to have instructions, they have to go in a secrecy sleeve, we include an I Voted sticker because the voters really like that, and then you have to make sure that the correct ballot number matches up with the correct label for the voter so the voter’s getting the correct ballot that was assigned to them. Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope

Along with the Democratic and Republican primaries, the ballot will include three Ingham County millage renewals, and Ingham Intermediate School District renewal, and a renewal for the Capital Area Transportation Authority.

Swope says if you haven’t already asked for a ballot so you can vote by mail, you should do it soon. His office will begin offering extended hours for early voters to drop off ballots in a few weeks. People who are not registered to vote can do so right up to election day.

Swope reminds voters that they must choose only one of the presidential primaries. You can’t vote as both a Republican and as a Democrat.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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