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Politics & Government

1.8 million Michiganders request absentee ballots, 600K returned for August primary

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

More than 1.8 million Michiganders have requested absentee ballots, about two weeks before the August 4 primary.

607,079 absentee ballots have already been returned. Only 484,094 absentee ballots were cast in the 2016 August primary.

“The volume of absentee ballot requests and returns we’re seeing underscores the near universal enthusiasm Michigan voters share for casting their ballot in a way that is safe, secure, and convenient,” says Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Absentee ballot requests have been rising since voters approved changes to Michigan’s state Constitution in 2018.

Tracey Wimmer is a spokeswoman for Michigan’s Secretary of State. She expects primary results will be delayed because of all the absentee ballots.

“We want to set the expectation now, and unless something changes -- frankly for November as well -- that we will not have results on election night,” says Wimmer.

Michigan’s Secretary of State’s office says more election workers are needed to process the increase in absent-voter ballots and staff polling places in place of many election workers who are at greater risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus because of their age or because they may be immunocompromised.

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