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Benson: Election will be safe, secure, fair, and accurate

Results expected within 24 hours of polls closing, voters should be wary of misinformation

Detroit, Mich. - Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson at a press conference today assured voters that the Nov. 8 general election will be safe, secure and accurate.

“Michigan voters can be confident that, no matter how they choose to cast their ballot or who they vote for, they will be safe, their vote will be counted securely, and the results of this election will be an accurate reflection of the will of the voters,” said Benson. “Elections officials and law enforcement are more prepared than ever before to immediately address any attempt to interfere in or disrupt the election process or intimidate voters and ensure that all voters are safe and their rights are protected.”

Benson’s administration has worked with county, city and township clerks as well as federal, state and local law enforcement to ensure the safety and security of the Nov. 8 election. It made $8 million available in grants directly to clerks for election security, and provided a code of conduct for them to have election workers sign before their shift.

If voters do witness or experience an attempt to interfere in the election or intimidate them at any time before, on or after Election Day, they should contact their local clerk and call 866-OUR-VOTE. The national voter protection hotline will connect them to people in Michigan who work with the Michigan Department of State and other agencies to immediately address such issues.

Benson also said that this year all voters should expect all votes will be counted and unofficial results reported statewide within 24 hours of polls closing. This is because state laws allow only some jurisdictions to do only limited processing of absentee ballots before Election Day.

“Throughout Election Day and after the polls close at 8 p.m. professional election administrators will be working to validate and tabulate every vote,” said Benson. “In doing so, they will rightly prioritize security, transparency and accuracy over speed. Voters should be wary of the likelihood that some may seize on this time and space to spread misinformation and lies about the tabulation process and preemptively claim results. Remember that only a full tabulation of every valid vote will determine the winner in any election contest.”

Benson noted that already meritless lawsuits are being used to gain media attention, cause confusion and sow seeds of doubt among voters and warned that the false narratives suggested in the suits are likely to resurface as misinformation after the election.

“No matter how many meritless challenges and lawsuits are filed, which party election workers come from, or if a citizen votes absentee or in person,” Benson said. “The law is clear that citizens have the right to cast their ballot free from intimidation and election workers must count every valid vote in a nonpartisan and unbiased manner. And we will work to ensure the law is enforced and every voter and vote is protected.”

Voters who already have an absentee ballot should fill it out, sign the back of the envelope and hand-deliver it to their clerk’s office or secure drop box by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. Citizens who have not yet registered may do so and vote at their clerk’s office through Election Day. Polling places will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. 

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