Early voting in Michigan is now open for the August primary election. That means that voters can now cast absentee ballots by mail or drop them off at their local clerk’s office.
While election officials aren’t totally sure what to expect this year when it comes to voter turnout, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office is expecting mail-in voting to be a popular option.
“A lot of the lessons we learned or the work that we did in 2020 continues to yield benefits for elections.” — Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State
“And it’s possible that, and we’ve seen this happen in other states,” says Benson, “that once people understand and embrace the convenience of voting from home or voting absentee, they choose to do so again.”
According to state officials, about two-thirds of Michigan voters cast their ballot by way of absentee voting in 2020. Benson says the increased turnout from the 2020 election has her office prepared for whatever this year brings.
“We have built capacity through that process that remains in place to handle high turnout again. And a lot of the lessons we learned or the work that we did in 2020 continues to yield benefits for elections like this one.”
Benson says she is concerned about the possibility of voter intimidation at polling places this year. She says mail-in voting remains a safe and trustworthy option to use in 2022.
Photo credit: Alex McLenon/WDET