Grand Traverse Co. Clerk Office Keeps Up With Last Minute Voting Problems

Busy voting precincts can mean a lot of troubleshooting for local clerks.

Phones have been ringing off the hook at Grand Traverse County Clerk’s office since polls first opened.

County clerk Bonnie Scheele says, “We have people calling to see where they’re registered, if they’re registered to vote, they’re showing up in the precincts.”

Polls are even more hectic with people who thought they registered, but told otherwise, like Deborah Timpson. She says, “When I gave them my card they could not find my name or street. I didn’t get a registration in the mail, but then we have a brand new street, a brand new address and I figured it got sent back like a lot of our mail did.”

But after a few calls and proving she did indeed register, Deborah was able to vote using a provisional ballot.

Timpson says, “They got back to us and told us we’d be able to vote, that we had to fill out, basically re-register and the form I had to fill out wanted to know the date I originally registered.”

While the clerk’s office has had to tell people they were not registered and legally could not vote, it’s their last resort.

Scheele says, “We don’t want to disenfranchise anybody, there are federal and state laws that protect these voters and we we’re encouraging people to get out and vote.”