Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Tuesday all of Michigan’s 7.7 million registered voters will be mailed absentee ballot applications so they can take part in elections in August and November without the risk of in-person voting if they choose to do so.
Benson, in a move likely to anger some Republicans and potentially lead to a court battle, said the threat posed by the spread of coronavirus, which has already killed 4,915 Michiganders since March but has been on the decline in recent weeks, is still too great to consider having people go en masse to the polls to vote in the Aug. 4 and Nov. 3 elections. Benson is a Democrat.
“By mailing applications we have ensured that no Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” Benson said. She noted that in 50 local elections held across the state on May 5, turnout was up significantly from other years and that the vast majority of voters cast absentee ballots by mail or through a drop box.