Secretary Benson Pushes for Early Voting With Ballot Drop-Off Boxes
Election Day is 42 days away, but Michiganders can actually begin voting on Thursday if they mail in their absentee ballot or fill one out at their local clerk’s office.
Already, the state says they have received 2.39 million requests for absentee ballots and already 270,000 have been sent out.
“The most important thing is that voters make a plan and they vote as soon as they can,” Benson says.
Election Day now is just when the votes are counted. Michiganders can actually start voting this week.
“The more we are able to spread out the way people vote this year, the easier it is on our local clerks,” Benson says.
Mail it in, drop it off to a clerk, or drop it in one of 1,000 drop-off boxes across the state.
“As long as ballots are received by 8 p.m. or dropped off at the local drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day, they will count,” Benson says.
A key thing Benson is stressing is that these are not mailboxes. Voters cannot just drop off their absentee ballot into any of them. Each precinct has their own ballot box, so voters need to go onto the state website, find where their ballot box is, and make sure their ballot gets in the right spot.
“They are drop boxes managed by the local clerks,” Benson says. “So wherever your local community is, is where the drop box you can use.”
The added flexibility and freedom for voters carries more chance for mistakes. As we saw last week with nearly 400 misprinted ballots sent to voters overseas.
As confidence in the election is varying, Secretary Benson is confident it will be safe.
“We’re going to continue to also enhance our protocols,” says Benson, “To ensure the mistakes aren’t repeated.”
One of the biggest critics to absentee ballots has been President Donald Trump. Until yesterday, when he tweeted in favor of mail-in ballots.
A surprise to Benson, but a welcome one.
“My job and our clerks’ job is to make sure voters have those options,” Benson says. “We welcome anyone who uses their platform to correctly tell citizens, and all voters, what those options are.”
If someone votes early and then wants to change their ballot before Election Day, they just have to go to the clerk’s office in person and spoil their previous ballot before filling out a new one.