The polls are open and Michiganders get their chance to influence the course of this presidential election. Before the precincts even started scanning ballots this morning, voters were already participating in record numbers.
“I think enthusiasm is high this year. And that’s going to translate alongside these new policies to increase turnout, not just today but in November as well.” – Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says 970,000 absentee ballots were requested and sent out. She says about 800,000 of those had been returned for the presidential primary election as of Monday morning, with more expected to come in before 8 p.m. on Tuesday. That’s roughly twice the number of absentee votes cast in the 2016 primary.
People who voted absentee had until 4 p.m. Monday to spoil their ballots and cast new votes if they wanted to change their choices. The Secretary of State’s office says more than 36,000 voters did that before the deadline.
On Monday, there were reports that people were waiting in lines for hours to cast an early absentee ballot in places like Ann Arbor.
That’s a good sign that participation is healthy here, but it also poses logistical problems for the people running our elections here.
Listen: Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson talks Michigan’s primary election and how it is being administered.
Jocelyn Benson is Michigan’s Secretary of State. She is in charge of overseeing all elections in the state of Michigan. Benson says the early numbers are encouraging, and she’s excited about how that will interact with new constitutional changes meant to bolster voter participation.
“I think enthusiasm is high this year. And that’s going to translate alongside these new policies to increase turnout, not just today but in November as well.”
Correction, 12:14 pm, March 10th 2020: The audio of this Detroit Today episode incorrectly states the deadline for spoiling an absentee ballot and recasting. The correct deadline is 4:00 p.m. Monday, March 9th.