“Secretary of state: Expect Michigan primary results to come later”

Detroit News:

 Results from Michigan’s presidential primary election Tuesday will come later than usual, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson cautioned during a Thursday press conference.

Benson didn’t provide an estimate for how long results will be delayed after polls close Tuesday night. But a document prepared by the Michigan Department of State said, “There is significant possibility that unofficial election results will not be available until much later in the evening than they have been historically.”…

In 2018, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment that allowed eligible voters to register up through Election Day and that allowed for no-reason absentee voting. Previously, voters had to meet certain criteria, like being older than 60 or being out of town on Election Day, to vote absentee.

The changes and interest in this year’s election have led to a surge in absentee voting. Compared with one week before the 2016 presidential primary, Michigan has experienced an 80% increase in applications for absentee ballots in 2020, according to the Department of State.

As of Thursday, Michigan voters had returned 572,895 absentee ballots, according to the department.

For weeks, Benson and other election officials have pressed Michigan lawmakers to allow local clerks to begin processing the absentee ballots before Election Day to help them cope with the time it takes to unseal and tabulate the ballots. But Michigan lawmakers so far haven’t enacted any changes.

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