DETROIT – It could take up to 80 hours or until Friday to process all Michigan voting ballots, estimates Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
Speaking to Local 4 News this morning the state leader acknowledged that period of time could change depending on voter turnout today.
Benson noted that by the end of today when polls close at 8 p.m. her office would have a better idea of exactly when all ballots will be counted.
As of this morning 3.1 Michigan million residents had already voted absentee. Benson said that is three times the number of people who voted absentee during the 2016 election. About 2 million more people are expected to vote today alone, said Benson.
Currently, there are just over 8 million registered voters in Michigan.
“Today we are on track to seeing record breaking turnout overall,” said Benson.
The Michigan Supreme Court did not respond to a request from Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel to review challenges made to the legality of a directive issued on Oct. 16 that prohibited the open carry of firearms in limited locations on Election Day.
She responded to the issue during her appearance on Local 4 News.
”The bottom line is voter intimidation is still illegal in the State of Michigan. Many state and local law enforcement agencies are out to ensure that is the case and to ensure smooth sailing at the polls. My goal is to protect the health and safety of every single voter and make sure they have a good experience and notably the Court of Appeals mentioned anyone who intimidates voters by brandishing a firearm is committing a felony under existing law in our state.
Polling stations around the state are following CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.