Whitmer Signs Legislation Allowing Clerks to Process Ballots Before Election Day
LANSING - Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed Senate Bill 757 which will ensure every ballot in Michigan will be counted in November 3 election by allowing clerks to process absentee ballots the day before the election.
The bill allows clerks in cities of 25,000 people or more to process absentee ballots for 10 hours the day before the election. Whitmer signed the bill at her press conference Tuesday, it was sponsored by Sen. Ruth Johnson.
“We are anticipating historic turnouts in the November election, and we are committed to ensuring every Michigander can cast their vote safely, and that their votes are counted. Whether you mail in an absentee ballot, drop it off at your local clerk, or vote in person on election day, your vote will count on November 3rd,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan voters: request your ballot, fill it out, and drop it in the mail by October 19th or take it to your local clerk’s office. Your voice will be heard in November.”
The bill will also require city clerks to notify voters if and why their vote would not be counted within 48 hours and steps they can take to solve the problem.
“Giving voters the chance to solve problems with their absentee ballot is essential and critical to ensuring that every voter can exercise their constitutional right to vote absentee and to make sure that their vote counts,”
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said that 2.7 million Michiganders have requested to vote absentee and about 400,000 voters have turned in their ballots which makes it critical to ensure every vote is counted.
“Michigan citizens can be confident their votes will count and the results of our elections will be an accurate reflection of the will of the people,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “While it falls short of providing the relief clerks have asked for, Senate Bill 757 is a small step in the right direction to allow some clerks additional hours to open envelopes and prepare ballots to be tabulated on Election Day.
Benson said she expects that all ballots will be tabulated by Friday of election week.
Whitmer was supposed to sign Senate Bill 117 at her press conference which would allow service members and spouses to return their ballots to their local clerk’s office electronically if they were unable to submit them in person but the republican-led legislature failed to send the bill to her desk.
“Elections are no time to play partisan games, our brave service members and their families put their lives on the line for us and they deserve leaders who are going to help them vote,” Whitmer said. “It’s time for the legislature to get these bills to my desk, we got a lot of work to do.”