Detroit Today: Oakland County, Westland clerks tout success of early voting pilot program

Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment last year that gave voters the right to vote in person at early voting sites before statewide and federal elections.

Nearly 4,600 Michigan voters across 40 cities and townships participated in early voting for the first time during the Nov. 7 elections as part of a pilot program to test the process ahead of the 2024 election season.
Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in November 2022 that gave voters the right to vote early and in person at early voting sites before statewide and federal elections. Unlike absentee voting, early voting allows voters to cast a ballot similar to how they would at a polling place on Election Day at a designated early voting site, where they can personally insert their ballot into the tabulator.
Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown and Westland City Clerk Richard LeBlanc joined Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today Wednesday to discuss how early voting worked in their communities and why they believe the project was a huge success.

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Lisa Brown is the city clerk of Oakland County. She personally voted early and received positive feedback from residents about the process.

“I have to tell you our voters that utilized it loved it. Our workers loved it because it was a more manageable day,” said Brown. “It’s not a 13-hour day like Election Day so they absolutely loved that. We got such great feedback from everybody on it.”

Richard LeBlanc is the city clerk of Westland. He says everyone he spoke to personally liked the early voting experience. 

“The biggest compliment that we received from those people who voted that I was able to talk to is that it was the exact same thing as voting on Election Day except that there was no line,” said LeBlanc.

Listen to Detroit Today with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.

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