After problems with the Branch County recount for the November Presidential election, there will be a change in how voted ballots are stored. Branch County Clerk Terry Kubasiak told township supervisors, this week, the County Board of Canvassers plans to ban the use of decades old metal vote cans for after election ballot storage. “The Bureau of Elections was there and pretty much told the Board of Canvassers they should not have certified (the ballot cans) the last time,” Kubasiak explained. That means each township must buy approved ballot bags. Branch County ballots went through a recount in Kalamazoo before courts ended the complete state recount of presidential ballots. Six of the 22 precincts could not be recounted.
“Two of them, their seals got broken as they were transporting the cans on the way to the courthouse. So they could not be counted. We had three that had the old ballot cans that did not seal them properly so you could get into them and get ballots out,” the clerk explained.
The last jurisdiction was Coldwater Township which had a new canvas ballot bag. The bottom had been cut or split. Kubasiak suspects too many of the large ballots were stuffed into the bag at a bad angle so the heavy cardboard rubbed both the ballot bag and a canvass bag in transit, cutting a slit in both bags. It was only discovered when the bags were opened to recount the ballots.
“They are really, really heavy, and are sharp on the edges,” she said.
Full Article: Ballot cans must be replaced after recount problems.