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Hundreds of Auburn Hills absentee ballots not delivered

On October 3rd, Terry Kowal, City Clerk for Auburn Hills, sent out 1,455 absentee voting ballots to residents who had requested them.

She knew she had a problem about a week later.  Calls started coming in from voters, saying things like, "Where's my ballot?  My husband got his, but I didn't get mine."

"That always raises a red flag for clerks because they're mailed at the same time," Kowal told Michigan Radio.  (And) they're filed alphabetically, so they'd be in the same mail tray."

Kowal says she's had several discussions with U.S. Postal Service officials in Pontiac, where Auburn Hills' mail is processed, but so far, nobody knows what happened to the ballots.

More than a third of the ballots may not have been delivered.

Kowal says she can't simply void everybody's ballots and send out new ones - because lots of people have already voted.

Instead, she's telling city residents to call her office, if they should have gotten a ballot, and didn't, and request a new one.  The old ballot will be marked "spoiled" and a new one sent out.

People can request a new ballot be sent to them as late as 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 3rd.

Otherwise, they can vote absentee in person at Auburn Hills City Hall on Monday, November 5th. 

Failing all else, they will have to vote on election day at their voting precinct.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.