Clerks: Main focus not on debate, but voting surge

Elections

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — County clerks in West Michigan remain focused on ensuring voters feel confident in the presidential election as the state offers a fact-checking resource for Michiganders.

News 8 reached out to area election officials after statements made during Tuesday’s debate called into question election security. President Donald Trump has made allegations for several months now related to November’s impending results.

“It’s my view, especially this close to the end of our election cycle on Nov. 3, that citizens just block out the rhetoric,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told News 8 Wednesday. “And try to make the most informed decision and best decision they can make for themselves as citizens and as Michiganders. And my job is simply to make sure that no matter who they cast their vote for, that it counts, and they can have faith that the results of our elections are an accurate reflection of the will of the people.”

The state has set up an elections page that addresses typical questions coming from voters right now.

Voters can also send allegations they hear related to voting and security to misinformation@michigan.gov to receive clarity directly from the state.

A similar focus on reinforcing confidence is underway in Kent County.

“We’re getting flooded with questions about the process and whether or not absentee or vote by mail is safe and secure. So what we’ve done is we’re embarking on a, between now and the election, we’re doing everything we can in my office to have essentially a voter education program,” Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons told News 8. “We’re running radio ads. We’re doing a lot of digital advertising as well just to get some education out there. We’re directing people anybody who has any questions and needs more information to go to our new website.”

KentCountyVotes.com will redirect voters to all of the information they need related to Election Day.

Nov. 3 will also mark a milestone for Kalamazoo County Clerk Tim Snow. He’ll be retiring at the end of the year after 24 years.

He told News 8 he understands concerns, but officials are taking great pains to ensure every ballot is counted.

“These are procedures that we have used for many, many years,” Snow explained. “There’s very little change in the actual processing procedure. It’s simply that we’re dealing with, at this point, about three times as many ballots. Not quite, but close to three times as many as we did in 2018, which was the previous record.”

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