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Secretary of State says to expect a late night for Michigan presidential primary results

Election polling station sign
Wikimedia | Tom Arthur | CC BY 2.0
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Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Tuesday’s election is the first major statewide contest since voters in 2018 authorized no-reason absentee voting and same-day voter registration. Absentee ballot requests are up 80% compared to the 2016 presidential primary.

“I want to set the expectation that Tuesday’s unofficial results will be available a little bit later than we may want or expect,” Benson said, stressing that people should not think that could suggest errors or fraudulent activity. “On the contract, the later-than-usual results are evidence that our clerks are working diligently … to carry out the additional worker on their plate in a way that is ethical and accurate.”

As of Thursday morning, nearly 16,000 absentee ballots had been scratched, or “spoiled” — a process by which voters can change their preference and start over after several Democratic candidates dropped out of the race. At least 12 Democratic candidates and two Republicans have withdrawn since Michigan ballots were printed. Absentee voting began in late January.