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Hilary Farrell

The state will work with Detroit election officials to ensure that problems encountered during the recent primary are not repeated in the November general election. The number of counted absentee ballots in the August primary didn't match the tally recorded in poll books in more than 70% of precincts. City Clerk Janice Winfrey and Secretary of State Joyce Benson said Wednesday that at least 6,000 election workers will be recruited to staff Detroit polling locations and absentee counting boards, and the method of counting and sorting ballots will be revised and streamlined.

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Even though it's a primary, a number of races Tuesday could have a huge impact on the November general election.

Top races to watch:

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Michigan's secretary of state says a sharp increase in the number of people voting by mail because of the pandemic could slow vote counting in the August primary and November general election. Jocelyn Benson said Wednesday that nearly 2 million registered voters have requested a mail-in ballot for the Aug. 4 primary. Just over a million people cast ballots by mail in the 2016 general election. She says local election clerks are asking for more time to process what they expect will be a large influx of absentee ballots. Currently, clerks cannot begin counting absentee ballots until 7 a.m.

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  Michigan’s top election official is urging people with an absentee ballot to return it to their local clerk’s office or drop box instead of using the mail to ensure it’s counted in the Aug. 4 statewide primary.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson gave the guidance Tuesday, a week before the election. A ballot must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Night to be counted.

Voters can return their ballot to the drop box in their city or township. A list can be found online.

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Michigan's top election official says absentee ballot applications will be mailed to all 7.7 million registered voters for the August primary and November general election.Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the step Tuesday as the state continues to confront the coronavirus pandemic. She says it will ensure no one "has to to choose between their health and their right to vote." Her office mailed absentee ballot applications to voters in jurisdictions with local elections earlier this month, and there was record turnout.

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Yesterday (TUE) marked the first Michigan election since the start of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order. There were numerous logistical challenges to keeping the democratic process going during the pandemic.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson spoke with WDET’s Stephen Henderson on "Detroit Today."  She says the election was a success.

“…in the weeks ahead to determine how to best proceed for August and November.”

That’s Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. She spoke with WDET’s Stephen Henderson.

Polling station
Hilary Farrell

  Roughly 10 percent of the state’s electorate has an election this May. The local elections are only happening in counties where crucial funding is on the line and can’t be pushed back to August. In person-voting is limited.

Gerrid Uzarski (Oo-zar-ski), the director of elections for Kent County, says peoplevoters who plan to cast their vote in-person should bring masks.

“We have a limited supply. We definitely need some help with that. So, if they could bring their own kind of face cover, we need help from them.”

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Proposals for change City of Grand Rapids elections have been reviewed by a task force and presented to the city commission. It’s up them to hold a public hearing before adopting changes.

The Task Force on Elected Representation evaluated four proposals. The process began in August after the City Commission passed a July ordinance forming the task force.

The 11-member committee researched the proposals, applying values for encouraging and engaging a greater number of voters in the election process resulting in greater governance.

Benson names Jonathan Brater director of elections

Nov 26, 2019
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  Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has named Jonathan Brater to be the next director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections following the retirement of current director Sally Williams.

Brater, who will take over Jan. 2, has worked alongside Williams for the past 11 months while he focused on elections while serving as the Department of State’s Legal Policy Director. He previously served as counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, a non-partisan nonprofit, where his work focused on modernizing elections in partnership with secretaries of state around the country.

After Amash dumped Trump, his district may do same to him

Aug 19, 2019

Eirran Betka-Pope was on her lunch break when she spotted hundreds of Donald Trump supporters protesting outside the office of Rep. Justin Amash, the first Republican on Capitol Hill to say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against the president.