Secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson issued last-minute election reminders Monday ahead of Election Day.
She's asking for patience with reporting results and expects precincts to be busy for in-person voting Tuesday as well.
That was true for several areas in West Michigan on Monday, with lines out the door at clerks offices in Kentwood and Byron Township.
Byron Township Clerk, Peggy Sattler said, “We had our first voters coming in at 7:30, before we were even geared up to start handing out ballots, so yep, 7:30 it started and it's been steady. The parking lots been full you can see it's spreading out into our extra parking lot area, and I'd say probably the voters are waiting between 10 minutes to a half hour."
The Secretary of States Office reports that of the 3.3 million absentee ballots requested, 2.9 million have already been returned. Benson said that the 80-percent return rate we’re sitting at now, is typical of a normal election year.
Secretary Benson said that Michigan has already broken the previous record set in 2008 for voter turnout, when 5 million ballots were cast.
She said, “We've already broken records in voter registration numbers, we've seen more people voting absentee this year than ever before. All of that points to the idea that we will have a significant increase in turnout this year, which is a great thing because it gets us closer to ensuring that the results of our election will be an accurate reflection of the will of the people.”
She’s also reminding people that there’s still time to register and cast your vote on November 3rd, even if the registering part slipped your mind this year.
“Even if someone is not registered to vote right now, they can still vote in fact up until 8 PM tomorrow. Someone who is not registered can go to their Township or City Clerks office with residency verification, register to vote, get their ballot, and return it right then and there. So there is truly no reason why anyone should stay home this year,” she said.
Secretary Benson and her officer are also concerned about possible Election Day misinformation that may be circulating Tuesday online and on social media. Be
She said, “We recognize that and should expect a plethora of false Information to hit our voters or try to impact not just their ability to vote, but their perception of their integrity of the process. And so we are asking voters to stand firm, stand vigilant against any attempts to potentially hack their mind as to their understanding of our elections and instead seek out trusted and reliable sources of information.”
Absentee ballots can still be dropped off at your clerks office, ballot dropbox, or have them postmarked by November 3rd.
You may also vote in-person at your local precinct, which you can find at Michigan.gov/vote.
You can keep track of election results at Michigan.gov/vote and Michigan.gov/electionsecurity.