Advertisement

Michigan to allow absentee ballot processing 2 days before Election Day

Before now, clerks could only open envelopes to verify critical information when the polls opened

1/2
Michigan lawmakers have reached a deal with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to allow more time to process what’s expected to be a flood of absentee ballots during the upcoming November midterm and beyond. The measure, which passed Wednesday on the final day of the legislative session in Lansing, was seen as a major victory for the state’s election clerks because it will free up the two days before Election Day to sort through the deluge of mailed-in ballots. Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer/UPI
Michigan lawmakers have reached a deal with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to allow more time to process what’s expected to be a flood of absentee ballots during the upcoming November midterm and beyond. The measure, which passed Wednesday on the final day of the legislative session in Lansing, was seen as a major victory for the state’s election clerks because it will free up the two days before Election Day to sort through the deluge of mailed-in ballots. Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer/UPI

Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Michigan lawmakers have reached a deal with the governor to allow more time to process what's expected to be a flood of absentee ballots during the upcoming November midterm and beyond.

The measure, which passed Wednesday on the final day of the legislative session in Lansing was seen as a major victory for the state's election clerks because it will free up the two days before Election Day to sort through the deluge of mailed-in ballots.

Advertisement

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was expected to sign the bipartisan bill into law.

Michigan election officials hailed the move as a way to preprocess ballots without actually tabulating them until the day of the in-person vote.

RELATED Michigan kidnap plot convictions highlight danger of conspiracies to democracy

The change means clerks can now open ballot envelopes to check the sender's return address and mark voter registration numbers, which would save critical time on the night of the actual count.

"This is a great thing for clerks because they are under the gun," Macomb County Clerk Anthony Forlini told Detroit news station WDIV. "At 8 p.m., the polls close, and people want results right away. Unfortunately, when you're processing all day long, particularly with the amount of absentee ballots coming in, they need time."

Advertisement

The law also applies to all future elections.

Before now, clerks in at least 10,000 municipalities were only allowed to assess the mailed-in ballots when the polls opened, and that remains the only time they can begin to count them now.

Of the 2.1 million people who cast ballots in Michigan's August primary, more than half voted by mail. Similar preprocessing laws are already on the books in 38 other states.

RELATED Wisconsin Supreme Court rules absentee voter drop boxes are illegal

RELATED Michigan Senate rejects Donald Trump's claim that election was stolen

RELATED Michigan board votes to certify votes from 2020 election

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement