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1.5 million Michigan voters already have cast ballots in Nov. 3 election

Absentee ballot.
Absentee ballot.
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 2:07 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Absentee ballots continue pouring in to Michigan clerks' offices at a record pace for the Nov. 3 general election.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said municipal clerks around the state have received 1.5 million absentee ballots as of Tuesday out of nearly 3 million sent to voters. She urged voters to drop off absentee ballots directly to their local clerk or a special drop box rather than mailing in ballots.

Ballots received by clerks after 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 cannot be counted, even if they were postmarked and mailed well before then. Benson is concerned U.S. Postal Service Delays could mean some completed ballots won’t count.

Voters can request an absentee ballot from their local clerk through Nov. 3. Voter registration can be completed until the polls close on Nov. 3 with a proof of residency.

“We have worked to ensure every citizen has a right to vote absentee in Michigan and have implemented multiple levels of secure protocols and best practices that have been time-tested over decades in other states,” said Benson. “That’s why we can say with confidence that only valid absentee ballots will be counted, and they will be tabulated by bipartisan pairs of election workers trained to ensure votes are tallied without political bias and in accordance with elections law.”

For voters who plan to visit a polling place on Nov. 3, the Secretary of State’s Office has distributed masks, gloves, face shields and hand sanitizer to local clerks, along with advice on hygiene and social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus on Election Day.

Benson also issued a directive last Friday declaring that openly carrying a firearm is not allowed within 100 feet of a polling place on Election Day.

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