After late filing, Ionia avoids blank ballots

Ionia County

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A major issue with ballots for the Ionia city election in November has been fixed.

The city says statutes regarding primaries and caucuses recently changed and that it missed some of the new details. As a result, it held a caucus late and then filed paperwork late.

The state Bureau of Elections said that would leave voters with blank ballots in November. Voters would have to write in every candidate they wanted to elect.

On Wednesday afternoon, the elections bureau and Ionia County were able to come up with a resolution. The county says candidates can instead register as nonpartisan to get their names on the ballot.

There are a total of seven people running: six council members and the mayor. All of them are uncontested. The county says that means there would have been a maximum of three people to write in on each ballot, with the number depending on a voter’s ward. The county says although the write-in ballots were a viable option, it would have made for an extra step for voters and candidates.

“Either resolution is going to work. A write-in campaign for the city would be relatively small as far as the amount if campaigning. It would just mean reaching out to constituents more,” Ionia County Clerk Janae Cooper said.

Candidates will have until Aug. 7 to file with the county clerk as nonpartisan candidates. If they still wish to be affiliated with their party, voters will have to write in their names.

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