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More Lansing voters are switching to absentee ahead of Aug. 3 primary election

67 % of Lansing’s roughly 11,000 absentee ballots have been returned so far.
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Voter turnout for an off-year primary election like the one on Tuesday, Aug. 3 is usually pretty low. That could change because so many more people are switching to absentee voting.

Looking back at the 2020 November election, the state of Michigan set a record for voter participation with more than 60 percent voting absentee. In Lansing, the August Primary is following a similar pattern.

“It definitely is the trend,” Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope said. “People have really shifted to the absentee voting, the vote by mail, voting at home, or stopping into our office at a time when it’s not crowded and picking up a ballot in person.”

67 percent of the city’s roughly 11,000 absentee ballots have been returned so far. Some people, like Lansing resident Paulette Carter-Scott, voted absentee because of the pandemic.

“It’s easy, it’s flexible. You can vote at a time that’s convenient for you,” Carter-Scott said. “What is great even more so is the fact that because of COVID-19, I’m fully vaccinated, but I don’t know who else is fully vaccinated, so it makes you feel safe when you vote.”

Another Lansing resident, Tom Woodman, is a poll worker. He doesn’t have time on election day to go in person to his voting location, so he has to vote absentee.

“I like the absentee because it is easy,” Woodman said. “I’d have to get out and go across town and whatever and come back. It pretty much burns up your lunch time.”

The number of people that have signed up for the City of Lansing’s absentee voter list has increased greatly over the years. That mailing list has over 30,000 people. Swope predicts that number and that way of voting will continue to grow for future elections.

“I think it will increase the overall turnout because it just does make it more convenient,” Swope said. “You have an absentee ballot application that comes to your home, all you have to do is sign it and mail it back.”

Here is a look at Lansing’s voting data so far as of Aug. 2, 2021:

  • The city has 83,000 registered voters.
  • The August Primary averages between 13,000-15,000 votes.
  • Lansing has issued around 11,000 absentee ballots, which means 73% of the votes could be absentee if all 11,000 get turned in by August 3 at 8 p.m.

Here’s what you need to know for tomorrow:

  • Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Michigan has same-day voter registration, but you must register at your city or township clerk’s office.
  • Remember to bring your I.D.
  • Don’t put your ballot in the mail as that deadline was July 19.

If you sent in your ballot by mail, you can double check to see whether it arrived at your clerk’s office HERE.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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