Burr Oak Township Clerk Refrained From Administering Elections
By: Mike Stiles - Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Jonathan Brater, Michigan Secretary of State’s Director of Elections (photo courtesy of State of Michigan)

(BURR OAK TOWNSHIP) – The Burr Oak Township Clerk has been ordered to refrain from administering any elections until further notice.

In a media release from the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, Director of Elections Jonathan Brater says the Department of State, Bureau of Elections has received reports of serious violations of the Michigan Election Law regarding the issuance and processing of absent voter ballots for the August 2 Primary by Burr Oak Township Clerk Jacquilyn Wells.

Brater says specifically the Bureau 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. He says they’ve also been informed that Wells removed returned absent voter ballots from the return envelopes and placed them in a separate return envelope.

The Bureau independently verified that the Qualified Voter File shows ballots were sent to voters on the permanent absent voter application list with no application received from the voter. The Bureau is unable to verify Wells’ method of processing returned absent voter ballot envelopes at this time.

Under the Michigan Election Law, the Secretary of State has supervisory control over local election officials in the performance of their duties.

Brater says his department is investigating the situation. While that investigation is going on, St. Joseph County Clerk Lindsay Oswald has been placed in charge of any elections that would take place in Burr Oak Township.


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