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26 Northeast Michigan August ballots rejected

ALPENA — Twenty-six Northeast Michigan ballots cast in the Aug. 4 election were rejected, according to data released Friday by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Of those, the biggest share, 15 ballots, were rejected because they arrived late to clerk’s offices, according to the data.

Seven ballots were rejected because the voter was deceased, two were rejected because they lacked a signature, one was rejected because it wasn’t signed, and the last was rejected because the voter had moved.

Eleven ballots were rejected in Alpena County (eight in the city), seven were rejected in Presque Isle County, and four each were rejected in Montmorency and Alcona counties.

Statewide, 10,600 ballots were rejected, Benson’s office said, more than 80% for signature verifications or late arrival.

Benson says the data shows the Legislature should pass pending bills that would allow mailed ballots to be counted if postmarked by Election Day and would require clerks to call voters if signatures don’t match.

Benson said 6,405 ballots were rejected because they were late.

That could be a big problem in November, after the U.S. Postal Service warned most states budget problems and cuts in the agency could cause serious delays in returning ballots within the states’ deadlines.

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