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Board of Canvassers Responsibilities

To the Editor: My name is Steve Horne and I am chair of the Grand Traverse County Board of Election Canvassers. The attached Letter to the Editor has speaks to the work last week by that board to inspect and certify the ballot containers that will be used in the August primary and November general elections. At the direction and concurrence of the other three members of the Board and of Bonnie Scheele, County Clerk of Grand Traverse County, this letter has been submitted for your consideration. Each of those noted above have approved of this letter (minor editorial changes were made consistent with their suggestions. The role of the Board of Canvassers is not well understood but serves an important role in ensuring fair elections.

Steve Horne

The Grand Traverse County Board of Canvassers (BOC) is composed of four members; two from the Republican Party and two from the Democratic Party. We are nominated by our party chairs and confirmed by the County Board of Commissioners. We are committed to the principle that our elections be run fairly and that the will of those voting is recognized in the certified results.

The BOC has several responsibilities:

· Complete the canvass and certification of primaries and elections

· Conduct recounts

· Resolve claims involving malfunctioning voting equipment and defective ballots

· Inspect ballot containers

During the week of June 27 to July 1, the BOC inspected and certified over 400 ballot containers that will be used by the 13 townships in the County and the City of Traverse City.

The inspection ensures that the ballot containers are approved by the State (several different styles and models are approved) and that the containers are in good working order. Additionally, this inspection ensures that extra ballots cannot be inserted into the container once it is sealed by the election workers at the polling location. This is one step in ensuring that the will of the voters in the August primary and the November general election will be accurately reflected in the certified results.

The Board of Canvassers recognizes and appreciates the work of the Township Clerks, the County Clerk and their staffs for their continued work to ensure fair elections in Grand Traverse County.

Steve Horne, Chair

Sandra Call

Lori Andrzejewski

Tom Wertz


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