Citing concerns that President Donald Trump could attempt to declare victory prior to all absentee votes being counted in the Nov. 3 presidential election, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Tuesday that he will “basically be shutting down city government for two days” in order to place “all city employees at the city clerk’s disposal” to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots.
“We all know what Donald Trump is capable of,” Duggan said Tuesday afternoon during an online forum organized by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal policy institution and advocacy organization. “If we do not make a commitment to get the mail-in votes counted quickly and accurately, I really am concerned about: Will we have a claim of victory based on the people at the polls?”
“We also know the people who go to the polls will tend to vote for Donald Trump, and the people who mail in will tend to vote for [Democratic presidential nominee] Joe Biden,” Duggan continued. “If we do not across this country find ways to count the mail-in ballots quickly and accurately, there’s going to be a real question of legitimacy with the election. That’s something that weighs on every big city in the country.”
Faced with a mounting death toll from COVID-19, the majority of voters across the United States are turning to absentee ballots for November’s election: some 60% of the country’s registered voters are expected to cast their votes by mail.
In Michigan, about 2.4 million voters have so far requested absentee ballots — a little less than one-third of the state’s 7.7 million registered voters, according to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office. A Benson spokesperson said Tuesday they are estimating as many as 3 million Michiganders will cast absentee ballots in this year’s presidential election.