I routinely do absentee, so got, and promptly returned my ballot with the mass mailing several weeks ago.
My wife, Kris, realizing that we’d be out of town for the 4 Aug elections, called for and got her absentee ballot last week, and promptly filled it out. She was walking over to the Preferred Credit Union and dropped the ballot into a Grand Rapids mailbox.
We got the envelope back a few days later, “returned.” After much puzzling, we intuited that the return envelope, (attachment) did not have the expected city clerk’s address. This would seem to me to be a serious flaw in what one would expect, namely that an enclosed return envelope would be labelled, a glitch that scarcely any of us absentees would detect.
1) what should we do to transmit Kris’ messed up absentee ballot to the clerk’s office? physically bring it over? Try to use the current envelope? Put it into a manilla envelope and send it over?
2) If her’s lacked a return, did mine, or any/many of the mass mailings done several weeks ago also lack a return address and now languish in some limbo in the post office, “waiting for Godot”?
3) I assume that this will be cited as a one time slip up in the clerk’s office; that someone reached into the box of envelopes and pulled one one that hadn’t yet been stamped with the return address. The envelopes are probably a standard purchase item made available to all local governmental units, but should the clerk not stamp all the envelopes on receipt instead of risking sending out ones that could cause problems?
4) We were still at home when the envelope returned, but many others might be in a long vacation (and in the fall, scads of regular voters decamp to home in Florida for the winter) and not see their ballots until long after the election has been declared.
5) Do all envelopes have the sticky label on like Kris’ had on hers which would serve as a return address?
These, and so many other questions that really smart folks will raise, await resolution.