Michigan Secretary of State: “Everyone Who Wanted to Vote Was Able to Vote” In Primaries

The expansion to absentee voting made for a very different type of Election Day in Michigan and foreshadowed what to expect come November.

The public has become accustomed to election results rolling in shortly after polls close, with analysis of close races available the next day.

“Voters need to be extra vigilant this year to get trusted sources of information about how to vote and ensure your votes are counted.” — Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State

This year was different, with a large swath of Michiganders choosing to vote by mail in yesterday’s primary. The expansion in absentee voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic was a major shift in the structure of Michigan elections and a crucial dress rehearsal for November elections. 

Listen: Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Tuesday’s Primary Elections. 

Jake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET


Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says so far, the primary election process looks to have been a triumph. “By all the metrics we’re looking at, it was a success,” says Benson of Tuesday’s primary. She adds that turnout was high with vote-by-mail options expanded throughout the state. “Everyone who wanted to vote was able to vote yesterday,” says Benson.

The vote by mail process wasn’t without some hiccups. Michigan law states that absentee ballots returned after polls close on Election Day but postmarked before cannot be counted. Benson says this measure is something that lawmakers should consider looking into changing. “I hope the Legislature will change that before November,” says Benson of the law. Looking forward to November, Benson says there will need to be a concerted effort to counter the misinformation around elections coming from the White House.

“Voters need to be extra vigilant this year to get trusted sources of information about how to vote and ensure your votes are counted,” says Benson. 

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