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GRCC Trustee election left off ballots in two Allegan County townships

One precinct within each township falls in the GRCC election district.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - In the Nov. 6 midterm election, the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees race was not included on ballots in two Allegan County Townships, Leighton and Wayland. One precinct within each township falls in the GRCC election district.

The race involved four candidates for two trustee seats, and it was included on ballots in six Michigan counties. The Kent County Clerk was the filing official for the race.

“We take our role in this very seriously, and we apologize to all who are affected by this error,” said Kent County Clerk, Lisa Posthumus Lyons.

A total of 1,611 registered voters from Leighton and Wayland Townships were eligible to cast votes in that race.

Posthumus Lyons said based on consulting with the Bureau of Elections, the Clerk's office has determined "there are no options available to me as County Clerk to address this issue."

The Kent County Clerk's Office was filing official for the GRCC Trustee race, and they were required by Michigan Election Law to notify county clerks in all participating counties of the candidates' names and addresses within six days of the filing deadline.

Each county is responsible for preparing and proofing its ballots. The county must then send a proof copy of each candidate and to the state Bureau of elections. However, because the GRCC Trustee race and candidates were not on the ballots in Allegan County, those ballots were not sent to the candidates for review.

"My number one priority has always been to ensure the integrity of our elections, so I am already taking steps in my office to safeguard the process to make sure this never happens again,” said Posthumus Lyons about the error.

This is the second ballot issue to surface related to this race.

The certified GRCC Trustee results are already subject to a limited recount because of a petition filed on Nov. 26 by trustee candidate Sheryl Siegel. The petition was filed after a data entry error was discovered. The recount was approved by the Michigan Bureau of Elections late on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

The ballot omission will not impact the recount, which when completed, will stand as the final tally unless a challenge in filed related to that issue. The Kent County Clerk's Office expects to finish the recount before the state's 30-day deadline, which expires on Dec. 28.

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