Burr Oak clerk barred from administering elections

Burr Oak Township Clerk Jacquilyn Wells has been barred from involvement in election-related matters until further notice from a state agency.

According to a letter issued from Michigan Director of Elections Jonathan Brater, Wells violated Michigan Election Laws regarding the issuance and processing of absent-voter ballots for Tuesday’s primary.

Specifically, according to Brater, the agency has been informed that Wells issued absent-voter ballots rather than absent-voter ballot applications to voters on the township’s permanent absent-voter application list.

Brater further added that the bureau is aware that Wells removed returned absent-voter ballots from the return envelopes and placed them in a separate return envelope.

In light of those alleged facts, Brater instructed Wells to refrain from administering any elections held in Burr Oak Township until further notice. Under the circumstances, St. Joseph County Clerk Lindsay Oswald oversaw the township’s election day activities until mid-afternoon Tuesday. She was subsequently replaced by an appointed representative for the balance of the day until polls closed at 8 p.m.

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  1. The first infraction– issuing absent voter ballots instead of applications to voters on the permanent absentee ballot list– should not be an infraction! Permanent absentee ballot lists were legally allowed to help the majority of qualifying absentee voters– the elderly and infirm. Permanent means exactly that. No one on that list should have to reapply for an absentee ballot for each election. What doublespeak! Permanent means permanent!

  2. Marthi, I agree. Just like medical records where you sign a yearly waiver only to have to sign every time you pick up a record. If it’s not for a year like you are told then don’t tell me it’s good for a year. Liar or idiot?

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