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Secretary of State: Record turnout for May 5 election

Posted at 2:11 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 14:11:23-04

LANSING, Mich. — Despite concerns from the coronavirus pandemic, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said there was record-breaking turnout for the approximately 50 elections in 22 counties and 200 municipalities across the state May 5.

Benson's office said nearly 25% of eligible voters participated in those elections and 99% of those voters cast absentee ballots.

“It was a very inspiring day,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “And it went even better than expected. Our local election officials deserve tremendous credit for their ability to administer a safe, successful election under unprecedented circumstances. The record-breaking high turnout in yesterday’s local elections is a testament to their efforts, and underscores how deeply committed Michigan citizens are to weighing in on the critical issues facing their communities and our society, even during a pandemic. Voters know how important it is to maintain our democratic institutions in times of crisis, and the data from yesterday proves that.”

Benson's office said of the over 180,000 people who participated in the election, primary data shows only 1,775 cast their ballots in person, averaging to fewer than one(1) per voting location per hour. She said more populace locations saw a greater number of voters.

Average voter turnout for local May elections is around 12%, Benson's office said.

Benson's office said clerks received all requested personal protective equipment from the Michigan Department of State, ensuring election workers were able to execute the election safely while following social distancing guidelines.

“Voters can be certain of two things: elections will happen on time, and they will happen safely and securely,” said Secretary Benson. “My top goal is to protect voting rights and the public health, and no matter what August and November look like nationally, we will do both in Michigan.”

Benson's office said all voters in Michigan have the right to vote from home and the ability to automatically receive absentee applications mailed to them. For more information, click here.

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