2020 Michigan Primary breaks record for number of absentee ballots cast

Secretary of State says election went smoothly

Tuesday marked a historic primary election in Michigan with a record number of absentee ballots cast.

DETROIT – Tuesday marked a historic primary election in Michigan with a record number of absentee ballots cast.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said there were few issues, and for the most part everything went smoothly.

Officials said more than 2 million absentee ballots were requested and more than 1.6 million were returned. That broke the record for absentee ballots by 300,000. That record was set in the 2016 presidential election.

Live updates: Election results for 2020 Michigan Primary

“It’s been, in my view, both a great preview to underscore how ready we are for November,” Benson said. “But, it’s also given us the opportunity to identify the challenges that exist and again prepare for November.”

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey said they overcame as shaky start on Tuesday morning.

“Some of the poll workers didn’t show up, and I’m sure it’s because they had second thoughts. But the poll workers who did show up, they just took the challenge on,” Winfrey said.

READ: Michigan Gov. Whitmer on Trump’s ‘delay’ election tweet: Mail-in voting is safe, simple, patriotic

We're tracking races across Metro Detroit.

This primary is the third time Rashida Tlaib and Brenda Jones have faced off in an election. In the strange primary of 2018, Jones won ac lose race to finish the last two months of John Conyers term after he resigned. On the same ballot, Tlaib won another tight race to serve the full term.

Despite Tlaib’s big lead in some polls and in fundraising, political analyst Adrian Hemond thinks there’s a case to be made for both candidates to win the 13th district.

“Has Tlaib fixed her absentee ballot operation in her campaign? In 2018, she lost the absentee ballot portion in both the special and regular election. But she won the in-person day of voting. I don’t think that strategy works this time,” Hemond said.

The next benchmark for this mail-in election will be -- when will we have completely results?

READ: More election coverage

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.