DETROIT – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer encouraged Michigan residents to exercise their right to vote, be patient with Election Day results and responded to attacks against her by President Donald Trump in an interview with Local 4 News this morning.
It could take up to 80 hours or until Friday to process all Michigan voting ballots, estimates Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. That period of time could change depending on voter turnout today.
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.
Currently, there are just over 8 million registered voters in Michigan.
“We need to all have some patience and extend a little grace to our clerks. We are anticipating a historic turnout in this election. It is going to take a little longer to count the ballots so just be prepared, bring your masks. Bring your ID and bring your patience," said Whitmer.
Whitmer is a national co-chair of the Biden-Harris campaign and recently rallied for him at Michigan events.
”I am hopeful that we as a nation elect someone who is going to get their arms around COVID-19, and come up with a national strategy, so that we can improve our numbers and keep people safe," said Whitmer.
“COVID-19 is still a very real threat to us all.”
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 184,889 as of Monday, including 7,357 deaths, state officials report.
Monday’s update represents 6,709 new cases and 17 additional deaths over a two day period.
Trump made his last stop in Michigan Monday night when he visited the Grand Rapids based Gerald R. Ford International Airport after campaigning in Traverse City.
During the Grand Rapids rally Trump told the crowd he wished Whitmer would open up the state and its schools.
In response the crowds chanted, “lock her up.” Trump supporters previously chanted the same thing at another Michigan based rally for the president.
“I think it is unfortunate that the president of the United States is going into states and conducting rallies that are super spreader events. I think it is awful that they are perpetuating completely dishonest information,” said Whitmer.
She continued pointing out that Michigan has been open for a long time and a lot of students have already started in-person learning.
“Those chants at these rallies whether they are about me or Dr. Fauci are anti-American. To encourage this behavior, the same kind of behavior that contributed to the alleged plot to kidnap and murder me, we need leaders who are going to bring us together. I really think that is what Joe Biden uniquely offers at this moment, the ability to navigate us through these turbulent times,” Whitmer said.
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