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What happens if someone mails in a ballot and votes in person?

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said there are protections in place ensure citizens only have one vote.
Credit: WZZM

MICHIGAN, USA — Voting twice is illegal. 

But it is possible that someone could inadvertently vote twice, by mailing a ballot in and voting in person. However, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said there are clear protections in place to ensure citizens only have one vote. 

"We in Michigan have a statewide voter file that is updated in real time with every voter's interaction. When you request your ballot to be sent to you, it's noted in the file. When we receive your ballot back, it is noted in the file. When your ballot is counted, it's noted in the file," Benson said. 

Michigan voters can keep tabs on this filed by also tracking their ballot online to see if it has been received by the clerk. 

RELATED: Voter Guide 2020: What you need to know about the election in Michigan

"Now, if you do that and you see there's no ballot yet returned to your clerk, even if you've mailed it in, you have the option to go in person to your clerk's office until 4 p.m. Monday and say 'I don't know if you've received my ballot, so I want to vote now in person just to make sure you get it,'" said Benson.

In doing so, this will invalidate the first ballot, that was mailed in, and the clerk will ensure the new ballot is counted as the vote. 

"There's provisions in place to ensure if someone does try to replace their vote and invalidate their ballot that we can track that," said Benson. "And that's really the key factor in make sure that no one inadvertently votes twice." 

Ballots need to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. 


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