WXYZ HomepageHomepage Showcase


Here's how mail-in ballots are being secured in Michigan

Ohio's mail-in primary tests voting during virus outbreak
Posted at 5:03 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 17:03:15-04

(WXYZ) — A record number of voters continue casting ballots now and will continue through Election Day at the same time President Donald Trump continues to cast doubt on the system saying mail-in voting can’t be trusted.

He said during the debate last night it will be “a fraud like you’ve never seen.”

I live and vote in St. Clair Shores. My city clerk here, Mary Kotowski, wanted us to do this story and show you how the system has safeguards.

She’s proud of her election workers who take an oath and follow the laws.

She told me,“It upsets me because we employ several hundred people to ensure the integrity of the election.”

Here’s how the system works. Security centers on the signature of the voter that is compared to the Qualified Voter File which contains your latest driver’s license signature, a previous voting signature or both. Your signed application is compared to the computer record. That application also includes your name, address, age, phone and email.

Your ballot is provided by your local clerk.

If you’ve moved, it is on you to verify you’ve been at your new location for 30 days prior to November 3. If you’ve moved from another city or even another state, the computer system will prevent you from voting twice. You can’t game the system.

“We’re live and it moves with them instantaneously. So the ability to vote in two communities does not exist,” Kotowski says.

You’ll get a ballot and two envelopes. You can mark your ballot at home, or at the clerk’s office. Your ballot goes into a security sleeve. That goes into the return envelope. Your signature goes on the outside. You can drop it off in person, into a drop box where you live or mail it.

When the ballot is received at the clerk’s office, a barcode is scanned showing you’ve voted in that Qualified Voter File database.

That means don’t try to game the system and vote again on Election Day. Poll workers have the same computer records.

There is some other misinformation out there that upsets Kotowski.

She says, “They say something about the bar coding says if they’re a Democrat or a Republican, That is not true. There is no political party listed in your voter registration records.”

If deliberate voter fraud is found, it will be turned over to the state and can be prosecuted as a felony.

People working elections welcome the record turnout. They want your vote to count.