Whitmer Urges Voters To Skip The Mail And Deliver Absentee Ballots By Hand To Local Clerks


(WWJ) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer banded together with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to ask Michiganders to request an absentee ballot as soon as possible.

While announcing that another 680 people had tested positive for coronavirus in Michigan and there were 11 new deaths in the last 24 hours, the duo said that the state had a record 1.6 million people vote absentee in the August primary.

Now is the time to make plans to vote in November, Whitmer said. "Today is the day to have a plan for voting," Whitmer said.

In fact, she encouraged people to not only vote but also to go the extra mile -- literally -- to ensure the integrity of their ballot.

"If you can, don't drop your ballot in the mail but go ahead and take it directly to your clerk's office," Whitmer said. "That's an easy way to ensure that your ballot gets counted."

Absentee ballots will go to Michigan voters who requested them starting next week. They can be returned via mail, in your City Hall drop box or in person at your local clerk’s office. Voters will be able to track their ballot online to make sure it has arrived at your clerk’s office.

Also starting Sept. 24 until 4 p.m. Nov. 2, citizens can register to vote and vote absentee inside a clerk’s office. 

These deadlines approach as President Donald Trump repeatedly attacks mail-in voting as rife with fraud. Trump went so far last month to say he opposed funding for the United States Postal Service because he doesn't want to see it used for mail-in voting this November.

Experts say it's just not true and that voting is safe and well protected from fraud.

Benson said 2.3 million citizens have already requested ballots for November, which puts the state on track for 3 million absentee voters. That would be a record.

Overall, Benson predicted 5 million total votes in the Nov. 3 general election, which last happened when Barack Obama was elected in 2008 with 5.04 million votes cast.