Record 2.5M voted in primary; Benson pushes for legislation

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 2:14 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -A record 2.5 million votes were cast in Michigan’s primary, as people took advantage of no-excuse absentee voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Thursday.

The count surpassed the previous record of 2.2 million from 2018, when — unlike Tuesday — there were contested statewide contests for governor and U.S. Senate. Nearly one-third of the state’s voting-age population participated.

About 1.6 million ballots were absentee, returned by mail or at drop boxes — topping the record of 1.3 million from November 2016.

“That key metric of turnout, we are really proud that voters blew it out of the water. Voters really showed up, voted by mail, voted in person and demonstrated that even in the midst of a pandemic, people want to vote,” said Benson, who for the first time ensured that every registered voter was mailed an absentee ballot application for the primary and general elections.

She projected 5 million people will vote in the fall presidential election, which would be the most since 2008. The Democrat again urged the Republican-led Legislature to change the law so clerks can open absentee ballots the day before Election Day, warning that the results of close races in November likely will not be known until three days later without legislation.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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