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Politics & Government

Secretary of State wants no-reason absentee voting system

Michigan's Secretary of State says absentee voting should be more widely available.

Michigan’s Secretary of State is urging lawmakers to support her plan to let voters use absentee ballots without needing an excuse, such as illness or being out of town at election time.

When Ruth Johnson was Oakland County Clerk, she instituted an absentee voting system. Now that she’s Secretary of State, Johnson thinks it will work just as well on a state level.

"If you wanted to vote for the pure and simple reason that it makes it more convenient, then you should have the standards you would have at the poll – which is some type of ID or signing an affidavit that you attest, 'Yes, I am who I say I am,'" Johnson says.

Johnson says an electronic tracking system will let voters confirm their absentee ballot has been received by the clerk.

About 20 percent of Michigan voters used an absentee ballot in the last presidential election.