Michigan Sees Record Turnout in May Election, Clerks Making Plans for Fall Elections
The state is reporting a record turnout from Tuesday’s special election.
“It is a fundamental shift in the way elections are conducted,” said Traverse City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.
Traverse City didn’t have an election Tuesday, but Marentette serves on the Secretary of State’s Election Modernization Team.
They helped implement the changes to Michigan’s absentee voting.
“I think it’s very convenient and it’s a very secure way to vote,” Marentette said.
Because of COVID-19, the state sent out absentee voting applications to each voter where there was an election to strongly encourage them to vote by mail.
The Secretary of State says 98% of those who voted, voted by mail.
“That shows us people are really taking advantage of that opportunity and taking it seriously,” Marentette said. “They can vote in a way, by mail, that really protects everyone, helps flatten the curve, and stop spread of the coronavirus.”
Now, election officials are looking toward August and November’s elections.
“Even if things have calmed down, and hopefully they have, I’m anticipating many people even more than normal will take advantage of absentee voting or voting by mail,” Marentette said.
“It just means we need to ramp up staffing and make sure we have to resources in place to accommodate this shift in how people vote, we’ll certainly be prepared for that,” Marentette said.
For those unsure of absentee voting, he says there are several checks and safeguards to ensure their security.
“It’s a secure way of voting, when someone is sent an absentee ballot and it’s sent back to our office, there’s actually a way to track that ballot and make sure it was returned,” Marentette said.