Absentee Ballots Expected To Create Vote Count Delays
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson wants to set your election results expectations appropriately. Benson is telling Bridge Magazine it could be Friday before all Michigan votes are counted. She’s saying it could be a lot earlier than that. But she doesn't want anyone in Michigan to think its business, as usual, this year and to expect final results overnight.
So far, approaching 3 million absentee ballots had been returned to election clerks around the state. Another couple of hundred thousand are outstanding. Then with today’s in-person voting amounting to another 2.5 million or so voters, election clerks certainly have their hands full.
Local races which only need to be tabulated by a county clerks office may not need so much extra time. But results from statewide political offices just may take a while. We’ll have to wait and see.
Benson telling Bridge Magazine. “We want to make sure the process is secure. We know Michigan’s going to be under such scrutiny, that I want to give clerks and our poll workers and election workers room to do their jobs well, and do it methodically, and be accurate and not rush.”
Prior to the August primary, the Secretary of State had similar comments but the potential day or two for results to be tabulated didn’t materialize. Most of the races were counted and results posted by Wednesday morning. This time the potential wrench in the works is more than double the absentee ballots that need to be counted. It is a time consuming and regimented process.
There are over 1,500 Michigan municipalities processing voting results. Most report everything in their system looks good. A few like Battle Creek have had some minor staffing issues created by the COVID-19 virus outbreak but nothing that presents overwhelming problems. At least three city elections workers have dropped out of the process due to COVID-related situations. But the city has hired more people and taken extra precautions to stay safe through the election process.