The Michigan Legislature gave final approvals Thursday to a bill that would give local clerks 10 hours extra before the election to begin processing absentee ballots, a nod to the expected uptick in absentee voting in the general election.
The bill also changed protocol for signature mismatches on absentee ballots, increased security around ballot boxes, and allowed for shifts of workers on the absent voter counting board the day of the election.
The legislation passed 94-11 through the House and was concurred on by the Senate 35-2. The bill is headed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk next.
Nearly 2.4 million voters had requested absentee ballots as of Tuesday, building toward what’s expected to be record mail-in participation during the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, will help clerks to better meet the unique demands of the Nov. 3 election, she said.