Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the deadline to tally the votes from the Michigan primary by executive order on Wednesday due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The canvassing deadline for the March 10 primary was originally March 24, according to a guideline from the state of Michigan. Whitmer’s order has pushed it back to April 24.
“I am grateful to Governor Whitmer for ensuring our democracy will remain robust during this public health crisis,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in a statement. “Providing more time to canvass the recent election will provide certainty for Michiganders that our elections are accurate and worth everyone participating in.”
Whitmer’s office said that the executive order makes sure that state employees do not have to restart the count, “wasting time and resources during this critical moment during the COVID-19 crisis.”
“This important Executive Order ensures county canvassers have extra time to complete their work following the March 10 Presidential Primary and that state resources remain focused on addressing this public health crisis,” Whitmer said in a statement. “The health and safety of seniors, families and children across the state remains our top priority and I urge residents to stay home and stay safe, continue practicing social distancing if they must leave their home, wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching their face to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Michigan currently has more than 2,000 confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The death toll for the state is currently at 43.
The United States currently has more than 54,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 737 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]