A third of active Michigan voters have requested absentee ballots so far, a spokesperson from Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS) office announced on Tuesday.
More than 2.39 million Michigan voters have requested ballots, more than 31 percent of the 7.7 million people registered to vote in Michigan and 35 percent of the state’s 6.7 million active voters, according to state data released by the SOS. Detroit City has requested the highest number of absentee ballots at 109,561 ballots, followed by Ann Arbor City at 40,786 ballots and Sterling Heights City at 32,083.
State data also indicate that Michigan has sent more than 270,000 absentee ballots out so far and have received 340 back. The number of absentee ballots requested so far this election year dwarfs the roughly 587,000 requested by around this time in 2016, according to state data.
Although the numbers may have been influenced by the passage of Proposal 3 in 2018 — which expanded voting rights in Michigan, including allowing for absentee voting for any reason — a push for voting by absentee ballots has been a theme through the leadup to the 2020 presidential election.
President Trump and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson have sparred several times over absentee ballots in Michigan, with the president threatening to cut federal funding if absentee ballots applications were sent to every registered voter and criticizing Benson for misprinted overseas ballots that misidentified Trump’s running mate.
In response to growing concerns that the influx of absentee ballots could affect the process of verifying election results, the Michigan Senate recently passed a bill that would allow clerks in communities with at least 25,000 residents to begin processing absentee ballots on November 2, one day early, according to MLive.
The bill, which includes a sunset clause that nullifies it after this year, has yet to be passed by the Michigan House of Representatives.
The remaining requested absentee ballots will be sent out beginning September 24, MLive reported.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter at The Michigan Star and Star News Digital Media. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]
Photo “Absentee Ballot Drop Off” by Jeff Knezovich. CC BY-SA 2.0.