Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2020
Media Contact: Press@Michigan.gov
Whitmer, Benson urge voters, legislature to take action now
Community leaders confident in election integrity
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson called on Michigan citizens and the state legislature to take action now ahead of the Nov. 3 general election. Whitmer and Benson urged voters to request and cast their absentee ballots as soon as possible, and state legislators to pass laws to prevent delayed election results and voter disenfranchisement.
“It’s crucial that all Michiganders know how to safely exercise their right to vote and make a plan ahead of the November election. Right now, Michigan citizens can register to vote and request an absentee ballot online at Michigan.gov/Vote,” said Governor Whitmer. “They also have a number of options to vote safely and securely, including from home, early at their clerk’s office, and in person at the polls, and I encourage them to make their voting plan now.”
Whitmer encouraged those who choose to vote from home to avoid possible U.S. Postal Service delays by mailing their ballots back as soon as possible, or hand delivering them to their local election clerk’s office or ballot drop box. Starting Sept. 24 local election clerk offices will send absentee ballots to voters and have them available for early in-person voting. Whitmer also noted that Michigan citizens who are not registered and do not have a state ID or driver’s license can register at their local election clerk’s office.
“Already we’ve had three successful elections this year which saw record turnout, record numbers of citizens voting by mail, and little to no crowding on Election Day. We are on track to replicate this success in November,” said Benson. “Our clerks are doing their part, working tirelessly as they have all year to juggle unprecedented challenges while embracing record turnout. But they and voters need support from the federal government and our state legislature.”
Benson noted that while other states provide days for pre-processing of absentee ballots, Senate Bill 757, passed yesterday by the Michigan Senate would allow only a few more hours, and only limited pre-processing, which is not enough to make a significant difference. Benson also pointed out that thousands of voters were disenfranchised in the August primary because their ballots arrived late or without a signature matching the one on their voter registration. The legislature has not advanced the bills that have been introduced to prevent such disenfranchisement in November.
Community leaders joined Whitmer and Benson to express their confidence in Michigan’s elections and to call on all to support them.
“Every citizen of the state must know that the upcoming election will be safe, secure and solidified on the rolls for voter accreditation. Every vote must count. We will not be tricked, bamboozled, or have our eyes taken off the prize of voter participation. We have come too far to turn back now. We urge everyone to TAKE YOUR SOLES TO THE POLLS AND VOTE,” said NAACP Detroit Chapter President, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony.
“I encourage all voters to turn to trusted sources of information, like our printed voter guides distributed this week and our award winning online voter guide Vote411.org, as well as the information shared by the Department of State and local election clerks,” said Michigan League of Women Voters President Christina Schlitt. “And if you see election information that is untrue or suspicious, report it immediately to the Department of State by emailing Misinformation@Michigan.gov.”
“Michiganders can also support our elections directly, by serving as an election worker on Election Day,” said Michigan Emgage Executive Director Nada Al-Hanooti. “Communities across the state need more election workers than ever this year, and bilingual workers are especially helpful. Sign up at Michigan.gov/DemocracyMVP.”