DETROIT – In battleground Michigan tens of thousands of ballots still need to be counted in some of the midwest state’s largest jurisdictions including Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and numerous other cities and townships.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson provided the update while speaking at a press conference on the ballot counting process this morning.
On Election Day Benson noted that it could take up to Friday to process all Michigan ballots as a result of the backlog.
Due to an increase in mail-in voting, clerks expected delayed results, up to multiple days.
Today she said that the state is still on track to having the results in by then, but they could also possibly be announced much sooner.
She expects to have more information throughout the day. Benson said she is optimistic that by the end of the day the majority of the ballots will be tabulated and the state will be much closer to making an announcement on finalized results.
“So what has been happening here on the ground in Michigan and all throughout the state are our bipartisan group of election workers have been tabulating those ballots, effectively and methodically and securely. This meticulous process is all about and focused on ensuring every absentee ballot is counted accurately and fairly,” said Benson.
For about 18 months Benson and election clerks throughout the state called on the Legislature to update laws in order to provide time for pre-processing of ballots that were on par with many other states.
“Our state Legislature chose not to make that change to our laws and here we are in Michigan where our counting process is continuing long after polls have closed,” she said.
“At this point I ask for patience out of the will of our voters and the work of our election workers who are volunteering in communities all across the state to serve the public and are committed to ensuring an accurate count.”
Record breaking numbers
This election had record breaking voter turnout in Michigan and throughout the country. Benson said over 5 million people in Michigan voted this election.
Of that number 3.2 million people voted absentee.
“More citizens voted in Michigan than ever before and more people voted absentee than ever before,” said Benson.
“It was really encouraging to see yesterday throughout the day over 28,000 eligible citizens registered and voted on Election Day. The vast majority of those were young voters under the age of 30, so it is a great story coming out of Michigan today,” said Benson.