LANSING (WJRT) (5/19/2020) - Check your mail if you're registered to vote.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that all registered voters statewide will receive an absentee voter application by mail for the August primary and November general elections.
Voters who receive the applications can fill out the forms to request absentee ballots, sign the application and vote by mail in both elections. That would avoid the need to visit a polling location on both election days.
Local clerks will mail the actual ballots for both elections separately.
Benson is concerned that voters may avoid the polls this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the chance of getting exposed to the illness while voting.
“By mailing applications, we have ensured that no Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” said Benson. “Voting by mail is easy, convenient, safe, and secure, and every voter in Michigan has the right to do it.”
Michigan has about 7.7 million registered voters and about 1.3 million of them already are on the permanent absentee voter list, so they automatically will receive absentee ballots for this year's elections.
Benson said some municipal clerks around the state were mailing absentee ballot applications to voters in their jurisdictions. She wants to expand the program statewide.
The May 5 school elections were conducted almost entirely by mail statewide and brought a record turnout. Nearly 25% of registered voters with a question on the ballot in their jurisdiction took part in the election.
“We know from the elections that took place this month that during the pandemic Michiganders want to safely vote,” Benson said.