Grosse Pointe Park issues replacement ballots after error found on originals

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 26, 2021


GROSSE POINTE PARK — A mistake on the November ballot has forced Grosse Pointe Park to print and send out replacement ballots.

In the race for Grosse Pointe Park Municipal Court judge, Carl Jarboe, who has held that position for more than two decades, wasn’t designated as the incumbent, as he should have been. Jarboe is facing challenger Charissa Potts.

City Clerk Jane Blahut said the Park received a proof ballot from Wayne County that didn’t indicate that Jarboe was the incumbent, and “we didn’t catch the error,” so the original ballots went to press without that designation.

As soon as the city learned of the error from Wayne County on Oct. 12, Blahut said they contacted the state Bureau of Elections on how to proceed.

“They told us we were required by law to resend the ballots,” Blahut said.

On Oct. 15, the city mailed out corrected replacement ballots to everyone who had requested an absentee ballot, she said.

“It’s a regrettable error, but we fixed it,” Blahut said.

As of mid-October, the city had gotten about 750 of the original ballots back and completed by voters, Blahut said. She said those ballots have since been marked with a label stating they are the “original” ballots. Replacement ballots have also been labeled, because she said they need to be kept separate from the originals. Originals will be maintained in a locked container until the polls close on election night.

Those who’ve already cast their ballots don’t need to send in new ones unless the correction would have impacted their vote, Blahut said.

Longtime Park residents likely know that Jarboe is the incumbent. He has served as the Park’s municipal court judge since January 1995.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect the outcome of the election,” Blahut said.

What it will affect, though, is how soon election results are determined. Blahut said they can’t start counting ballots until the polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, and they have to tabulate the replacement ballots first in case any voters submitted both ballots.

Blahut said the process ensures that only one ballot per voter gets tabulated.

As a result, she said election results likely won’t be available quickly.