Originally posted on The Citizen by Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Brandon Twp. — During the regular meeting on May 9, the township board of trustees approved 7-0 to opt out of an agreement with Oakland County for election services for counting absentee ballots permanently.
“So in July of 2020, Brandon Township entered into an agreement for election services between Oakland County and the Charter Township of Brandon,” said Clerk Roselyn Blair. The agreement allowed Brandon Township to opt out of the services per election.”
Previously, the township opted into the program during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the record-high number of absentee voters. At the time, the service was provided for free due to the pandemic, but it is no longer free and costs the township $100 per precinct when the ballots are counted.
“The board opted into that contract with the county in 2020,” she said. “That’s why I presented it to the board so we could opt out as a whole.”
With this approval, absentee ballots will now be counted by the election workers in Brandon Township. The board unanimously voiced their support for the decision.
“One of the reasons I wanted to support Roselyn and the motion to bring it back here, I come from a very small community, and I was on a smaller police department, and we were always of the opinion, if you want it done right, you do it in-house,” said trustee Bob Marshall. “You can make sure it’s done correctly, and I have absolute faith in Roselyn that is what will happen.”
The board has the option to opt into the contract again should they want to in the future, or to opt in or out per election at any given time.