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Published: Monday, 4/24/2006

Bedford Twp. absentee voters warned of mail woes

TEMPERANCE - Bedford Township residents who have not received their absentee ballot applications in the mail for the May 2 election should call the township office. Township officials suspect that applications mailed this month may not have arrived.

The township will take applications until Election Day and will be open until noon Saturday to process ballots and applications.

The township mailed about 2,500 permanent absentee ballot applications on April 5, township clerk Bob Schockman said. However, many may not have arrived, as officials believe the township has received fewer applications than it normally would by now, he said. U.S. Postal Service consumer affairs manager Glenda Herman said the mail was delivered, with applications reaching Erie, Samaria, and the Lambertville area by last Saturday.

Michigan requires those voting by absentee ballot to fill out a brief application before it will issue a ballot, Mr. Schockman said. The mailing date should have ensured that people voting by absentee ballot would have plenty of time to submit their applications and receive their ballots before the May 2 primary.

Mr. Schockman said his office will be calling absentee voters to see whether they received their ballot application forms.

Some residents who vote by absentee ballot serve in the military, but most are senior citizens, Mr. Schockman said. Indeed, the township's largest voting bloc is made up of absentee ballots. "We had 4,000 in the last general election," he said.

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