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Grand Rapids Adds Drop Boxes Across the City for Absentee Ballots

picture of a ballot box G.R.
City of Grand Rapids

To make it easier for residents to exercise their right to vote, the City of Grand Rapids is adding drop boxes for absentee ballots across the city.

With the November 3rd election right around the corner, the city of Grand Rapids has drop boxes throughout the city.  There are now seven locations, including outside of four Grand Rapids Public Library branches.

Joel Hondorp, Grand Rapids City Clerk, says for more than ten years, they’ve had a drop box for several election cycles at 300 Ottawa.  But with the increase in absentee ballots he says they need to make a change.

“We went from tabulating 16-thousand absentee ballots in the November 2016 election and we’re getting ready to mail out this week 45-thousand absentee ballots, so that’s a big change in the number of absentees.”

Hondorp says they want to give voters several different ways to return their ballots.

“One is they can use the U.S. postal service., we worked with the Postmaster so the mail in Grand Rapids  went well in August.  Also, you can bring it in to the clerk’s office at City Hall.  Or starting next Monday in the afternoons at 201 Market, at election central and then we have these drop boxes.”

Hondorp says the drop boxes not only provide a safe way to return their boxes but they also work for those who want to maintain social distancing during COVID-19.

“When we talk ab out safety it’s not just ballot security and safety, but it’s also, we’re also living in a pandemic. And having safety like that, so it’s a no touch drop box, there’s a slot, you drop your ballot in.”

Hondorp says ballots can be returned to the drop box until election night. However, he does have request to voters.

But he does encourage voters to return ballots as quickly as they can.

Hondorp says voters can track the progress of their application and absentee ballot at grandrapidsmi.gov .  

He says at least 45-thouand absentee ballots are being mailed out starting this week