Secretary of State’s Office to mail absentee voting guides

Elections

The drop box in downtown Kalamazoo where voters can submit their absentee ballots. (Nick Ponton/WOOD TV8, file)

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office will use some $1.4 million in federal funding to send out postcards to millions of Michigan voters explaining the state’s absentee voting law.

The postcards will go to the 4.4 million register voters who aren’t on a permanent absentee list or haven’t already applied to vote absentee in the Nov. 3 general election.

State officials have encouraged absentee voting in part to keep the number of people gathered at polling places low as a coronavirus mitigation effort. A couple years ago, Michigan voters approved changes to state law that make it easier to vote absentee.

According to the state, more than 1.6 million absentee ballots were cast in the Aug. 4 primary — nearly two thirds of all votes.

Benson previously said she expects Michigan will see as many as 3 million absentee ballots in November, so she’s dedicating another $5.5 million to help clerks handle that workload.

Of that, $2 million will reimburse jurisdictions for postage; $1.5 million will pay for jurisdictions to order redesigned envelopes that the U.S. Postal Service says will be more efficiently processed; $1 million will pay for jurisdictions to buy drop boxes, automatic letter openers and other equipment; and $1 million will match funds for jurisdictions to buy more counting machines.

Absentee ballots will start going out to voters as early as Sept. 24.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!