Eight weeks out from the election, more absentee ballots requested than ever before

Election NewsSEPTEMBER 10, 2020

Of the 2.1 million requests, approximately 1.7 million submitted in the last month

More than 2.1 million Michiganders had already requested absentee ballots by Tuesday, eight weeks ahead of the November 3 general election. The 2.1 million requests surpass the total number of absentee ballots requested in last month’s primary – 2 million – which set a new record for absentee voting in Michigan and ultimately resulted in 1.5 million absentee ballots being cast.

Of the 2.1 million requests, approximately 1.7 million were submitted since August 5, the day after the primary election. A breakdown of absentee requests by jurisdiction is available here.

“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Michigan’s citizens enthusiastically want to vote, and are taking advantage of the numerous safe, secure and reliable options they have to do so this year,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “I only wish their enthusiasm was matched by action from their state legislators, who have passed just one minor election law in 20 months, much to the chagrin of election clerks and voters across our state.”

For more than a year, Secretary Benson has called on the legislature to allow clerks to process absentee ballots before Election Day, as is done in at least 18 other states. The Bipartisan Policy Center recommends clerks start processing absentee ballots at least seven days before Election Day. Additionally, as thousands of absentee ballots have been rejected this year while Michigan citizens learn to vote a new way and endure U.S. Postal Service delays, Benson has called on the legislature to require ballots are counted if postmarked by Election Day, and to require clerks to contact voters if their absentee ballot arrives without a matching signature, to give voters the chance to confirm their identity and correct the problem.

Registered voters can request an absentee ballot is sent to them at Michigan.gov/Vote or by visiting their local election clerk’s office. Michigan citizens who are eligible to vote but unregistered, and who have a Michigan driver’s license or ID can also register to vote at Michigan.gov/Vote through Oct 19. Eligible citizens, including those without a Michigan license or ID, can also register at their local clerk’s office through Election Day.

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