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Michigan absentee ballot requests up nearly 4 times compared to 2016

More than 1.3 million Michigan voters have requested an absentee ballot for the August primary with 35 days before the election, which represents at 350% increase from 2016.
More than 1.3 million Michigan voters have requested an absentee ballot for the August primary with 35 days before the election, which represents at 350% increase from 2016.(WILX)
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 12:59 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - One million more Michigan voters have requested an absentee ballot for the August primary compared to this point for the last presidential election cycle in 2016.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said clerks have received about 1.33 million absentee ballot requests as of Thursday, which is 35 days away from the primary on Aug. 4. More than 378,000 had been received by this point four years ago.

The represents a 350% increase this year.

“Michigan voters have embraced their right to vote from home with enormous enthusiasm,” Benson said.

Michigan voters passed a comprehensive election reform package in 2018 allowing for no-excuse absentee voting. Election officials are encouraging voters to use absentee ballots this year so they don’t have to visit a polling location and risk exposure to coronavirus.

Benson facilitated an effort to mail an absentee voter application to all 7.7 million registered voters in Michigan this spring.

“This significant increase in those requesting to vote by mail already this year confirms they recognize that this option is a safe, secure and convenient way for them to ensure their voices are heard, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Benson.

Voters with absentee ballots should fill them out carefully and remember they can only vote in one party’s races for the August primary. When complete, but the ballot back in the secrecy sleeve and put that into the return envelope.

The envelope must be sealed and signed on the back for the ballot inside to get counted.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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