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Dearborn Among 70 Communities That Must Accept Late Absentee Ballots

Dearborn's primary election results won't be official until Aug. 9.

A ruling by a federal judge Monday will force the Dearborn City Clerk's office–among 69 other Michigan communities–to accept overseas and military absentee ballots past the Aug. 7 primary election deadline.

Normally, ballots–absentee included–must be in by 8 p.m. on election day.

According to a release issued last week by Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, a survey that asked Michigan municipalities to verify the status of absentee ballots found that 70 had missed the June 23 deadline for sending out ballots to military and overseas voters.

The finding .

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker ruled that those communities would have to accept ballots after election day in order to give those voters the proper amount of time to get their ballots in. City clerk offices that sent out the ballots two days late, for example, must give two extra days to receive and count the ballots.

For Dearborn, this means that overseas and military absentee voters will have through Aug. 9 to vote, City Clerk Kathy Buda said Tuesday.

"The (primary election) results will be unofficial until then," she added.

Buda said that of the 10-15 affected voters, several still had not turned in their ballots as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson applauded the decision.

"I want to thank Judge Jonker for acting swiftly to ensure overseas residents and the brave men and women of our armed forces will have their voices heard on Election Day," she said in a statement. "I am pleased that the judge agreed to extend the deadline to accept and count the affected ballots."

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