GOP leader nixes bill to process influx of absentee ballots early

PHOTO: Paper ballot, Photo Date: 11/6/2018 (Source: Ed Clemente / MGN)
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LANSING (AP) (2/19/2020) - A top Republican lawmaker is opposing legislation that would ease Michigan election clerks' ability to process an expected influx of absentee ballots, saying it would set a “dangerous precedent.”

Local officials want legislators to let them start opening the return envelopes the day before Election Day. The actual ballots would still stay inside the secrecy envelopes until counting on Election Day.

While the bill was not expected to be approved in time for that contest, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey's stance — announced Wednesday — makes it unlikely that the proposed change will be enacted before the November presidential election.