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Michigan Dems introduce online absentee ballot application statewide


The Michigan Democratic Party is expanding its effort to kickstart the absentee voting process online.

Party officials announced Thursday that voters statewide can now apply for absentee ballots online, through the website miabsentee.com.

The site is designed for mobile internet devices. MDP chair Lon Johnson said this is about merging two trends: more people choosing absentee voting, and the growing use of mobile devices.

“What we’ve done is try and merge the two, and give people the ability to apply to absentee vote, using their mobile phone or their tablet,” said Johnson.

Johnson says applications submitted online are then faxed to county clerks, who must still decide if the applicant qualifies to vote absentee.

Johnson said more than 27% of all votes cast in Michigan’s November 2012 election were by absentee ballot, and that number is projected to keep climbing.

The website just allows voters to submit absentee ballot applications online. Local clerks still need to review them, and decide if applicants meet state criteria to vote absentee.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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