Whitmer wasted no time voting, already casting her Nov. 3 ballot
She voted the first day clerk’s offices were allowed to accept completed ballots
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wasted no time voting in the Nov. 3 general election.
She cast her ballot a week ago when early in-person voting opened in Michigan on Sept. 24. Whitmer’s husband also dropped off his ballot at their local clerk’s office and her 18-year old daughter, who is voting for the first time, will mail in her ballot.
Whitmer is encouraging all Michiganders to get their ballots in as soon as possible.
“What we want to ensure in the middle of this pandemic that people don’t go all to the polls on Nov. 3,” she said. “Get that vote in the bank and don’t worry about it again between Nov. 3rd. In fact, use your time to help other people get their votes in too.”
Michigan voters already have requested more than 2.55 million absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 election, which represents a 350% increase over the 2016 presidential election. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the state is on track to have up to 70% of all votes cast by absentee.
“I’ve seen enormous enthusiasm from voters from both sides of the aisle planning to vote early and that’s on track to have over 5 million citizens vote this year,” she said. “That’s more than ever have voted before in our state.”
Benson said voter enthusiasm remains high across Michigan.
“Voters are engaged and talking about the election and they want their voice to be heard and they’re paying attention to what the candidates say,” she said.
Benson is engaging in a friendly battle with her counterpart in Ohio, Frank LaRose, to see whose state casts more absentee ballots. The secretary of state whose state casts fewer absentee ballots will have to wear the other state’s colors during the Michigan-Ohio State football game in December.
“He can extrapolate all he wants, but the bottom line is, Michigan is winning this bet with voter turn out this year. and when we do, Frank, the secretary of state of Ohio, my good friend, will have to sing the Michigan fight song at the Michigan-OSU football game this December," Benson said.
Michigan remains solidly in the lead with only 1.4 million absentee ballots requested as of two weeks ago in Ohio.
Michigan absentee ballots can be requested by contacting a local clerk’s office or filling out the Secretary of State’s online form. Ballots can be returned by mail, but many clerks are encouraging voters to drop them off directly to their offices or use special drop boxes.
Whitmer says she’s expecting a couple of bills to hit her desk soon that will make it easier for clerks to organize the election. They include help with counting what’s expected to be a record number of absentee ballots.
Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.