Michigan launching voter education ads amid record absentee turnout

Whitmer signed a bill allowing clerks to pre-process ballots ahead of Election Day
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 1:56 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan clerks have issued more than 2.6 million absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 election and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is calling on voters to return them as soon as possible.

After filling out their ballot, voters need to sign the back of the envelope and return them by mail or drop them off at their local clerk’s office.

“Michigan’s absentee voting system is time-tested and secure, and voters can be confident that all absentee ballots received by the deadline and with a matching signature will be counted," Benson said.

Information about local clerks' office hours and drop box locations are available on Michigan’s voting website.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill Tuesday afternoon allowing clerks to begin processing absentee ballots before Election Day this fall and allow them to notify voters if their ballots cannot be counted. Clerks need to file notice with the Secretary of State’s Office 20 days in advance of pre-processing ballots and post a notice on their municipal website.

Whitmer also hopes to receive a bill from the Legislature soon that would allow military service members to return their ballots electronically if they are unable to in person.

Benson also is launching a statewide advertising campaign this week to highlight the various options for voting in Michigan. Ads will appear on social media, the internet, television and on the back of ATM receipts.

She plans to insert absentee ballot applications into newspapers around Michigan and distribute them at Kroger stores, as well.

“Michigan citizens have proven with record-breaking turnout numbers in each of our state’s three successful elections this year that they want to vote,” said Benson. “It is my responsibility to ensure they know their options to do so safely and securely from home, early at their local clerk’s office, or at their polling place on Election Day.”

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