Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What voting equipment is used?
ES&S DS200 optical scanners and ExpressVote ballot marking devices are at all Early Voting and Election Day sites. ES&S DS450 high-speed, central count scanners are used to tabulate Absentee Voter Ballots. All voters use paper ballots to vote. The Electronic Pollbook software, provided by the State of Michigan, is used in combination with a laptop and barcode scanner to efficiently and accurate process and record ballot issuance at each polling location.
Q: Do I have to vote in all the races?
No. Whether voting by Absent Voter Ballot or in person, the tabulator will count your votes in only the races that you marked.
Q: What if I vote for too many candidates in a race?
If you’re voting in person, the ballot tabulator will alert you that you have “overvoted” and allow you to request a new ballot or cast the ballot anyway. If you cast a ballot with an overvote (in person or by mail), all races except the overvoted race will be counted.
Q: What if I make a mistake on my ballot?
If you’re voting by mail, call our office and let us know you need a new ballot. If you’re voting in person, tell a poll worker. You can spoil as many ballots as necessary to ensure your vote aligns with your choice of candidates. The ballot(s) with mistakes will be sealed inside a “spoiled ballot” envelope.
Q: Can I write in a candidate?
We can only count votes for candidates who have submitted qualifying paperwork before the election. In races with qualified write-in candidates, your ballot will include a blank space with an oval next to it. If you fill in the oval and write in the name of the qualified write-in candidate, that vote will be counted.
Q: If I receive an Absent Voter Ballot, can I change my mind and vote in person?
Yes. In that case, your Absent Voter Ballot will be cancelled at the polling place. Bring your Absent Voter Ballot with you to your assigned polling location and surrender it to an Election Inspector before receiving your new ballot.
Q: What happens if the power goes out or there are technical problems at a polling location?
We have backup equipment, generators, internal batteries, printed check-in registers and an auxiliary ballot box to keep everything going with minimal interruption. If a ballot scanner stops working, you can wait for a replacement scanner to cast your ballot or put your ballot in the auxiliary ballot box and it will be scanned and counted after the polls close.
Q: What happens to my ballot after I’ve voted?
Paper ballots are secured and available for recounts or audits. We store ballots for 22 months after the election is certified.
Q: How do I know that my ballot will be counted?
If you vote by mail, you can track your ballot on the Michigan Voter Information Center website to see when your voted ballot has been received. When you vote in person, the screen on the tabulator indicates whether your ballot has been accepted.
Q: What checks and balances ensure an accurate vote count?
To make sure every ballot is counted, we have systematic, redundant procedures in place to track how many ballots are issued, returned, and counted. To ensure every ballot is counted accurately, our ballot tabulators are tested repeatedly and publicly before every election. Afterwards, we run a post-election audit using a separate system to retabulate the ballots and confirm the accuracy of our results. Finally, to ensure accountability, election results and voter history become public record that anyone can check.
For more information or if you have a question that is not listed here, contact us at: email@example.com or call (586) 992-0710.