Clerk Lisa Brown addresses shocking election day ballot shortage in Oakland County

Posted at 8:23 PM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 17:08:07-04

Record voter turnouts were recorded for Tuesday's primary election in Michigan. However, that political win didn't come without its own hiccups, mostly in the form of ballot shortages at precincts across Oakland County. 

"They don’t know what they can do for us might not be able to vote at all," is what Richard Truett says he heard from election workers when trying to vote at his Berkeley polling station during what was a massive ballot shortage throughout Oakland County. 

7 Action news was overwhelmed this election day with multiple reports from voters who said they couldn't vote in cities like Oak Park, West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, and Pontiac. 

Lots of voters either had to leave and return, or wait while ballots were printed. However, some left without casting a ballot at all. 

So what happened?

Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown says some clerks were holding back ballots in the office, not delivering them to precincts. She says there may have been more spoiled ballots than anticipated. 

A ballot can be spoiled when a voter mistakenly votes on both sides of the ticket during a primary election.  

Brown says she’s trying to understand why voters may not have been instructed properly on how to fill out the ballot. Her office, she says, is also looking into why precincts weren't prepared to print more ballots.

Each city had the capability and responsibility for ordering the right paper for ballot printing. She added that after doing research, she's realizing a lot of those municipalities did not order it. 

Frustrated, Brown says the board of county canvassers is meeting to crunch the numbers to figure out what went wrong. 

The county says it will make sure this doesn't happen again and are launching an investigation.