Flint voters turned away at some polls after city runs out of ballots

ballot box flint

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

Government has failed Flint again.

If it wasn’t bad enough that thousands of residents were needlessly poisoned by contaminated water for 18 months, some of the city’s voters couldn’t even get a ballot in today’s Michigan primary election.

At least three precincts ran out of ballots today, forcing voters to either leave their phone numbers or wait until additional ballots arrived.

Some residents left without voting.

Mayor Karen Weaver’s office told NBC25, “The Mayor’s Office is aware that some precincts ran out of ballots today. While Mayor Weaver has no control over the conduct of elections, she is very concerned. We have been attempting to reach the Clerk to find out why it happened. We do know additional ballots were provided to those precincts ASAP.”

This is the same city that was cast in the national spotlight on Sunday, when Democrats held the presidential debate there on Sunday.

Some polling stations in Grand Rapids also ran out of ballots.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the Flint clerk’s office failed to deliver enough ballots to the precincts.

Some have speculated that residents showed up in higher-than-expected numbers because of the debate and the water crisis.

“Absolutely there’s more interest this year,” Loyce Driskell, an elections administrator at Grace Emmanuel, told ThinkProgress. “I think the water crisis, maybe the debate. I just think that Flint is on the map for the world to see and I just think all of that has really gotten voters to turn out.”

Check back for updates.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Almost as bad as the clerk in detroit about 6 years ago. She lost re-election, then demanded a second election because she did such a poor job running the election, in her mind thats why she lost.

    If you cannot get enough ballots to them, what do you get paid for!

    1996 first election i could vote in, my absentee ballot showed up in the mail three days after the election was over.