Michigan seeking election workers to process, count ballots

Proposal 3 passes in Michigan allowing for easier access to voting
Posted at 9:02 AM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 09:43:31-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is seeking election workers to support elections during the COVID-19 crisis.

The local elections on May 5 will be conducted primarily by mail, Benson says, but workers are needed to process and count ballots and staff clerk offices.

“Elections are the foundation of our democracy, and our nation has a long history of holding them even in times of crisis and uncertainty,” said Benson. “All election work will be done in strict adherence to the protocols to prevent coronavirus transmission, including exercising social distancing, using sanitary equipment, and maintaining strong hygiene.”

Some clerks said many of the election workers that have worked in the past are seniors and not willing to do so in May due to increased vulnerability to COVID-19.

Benson is seeking to fill places with less vulnerable workers. Her administration is reaching out to large employers, colleges and sports teams.

Local elections are not taking place in all jurisdictions in May. Many elections with questions slated for the May ballot were postponed to August. Others could not postpone, often because school funding would expire this summer.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a recent executive order that will close all but one polling place, typically the clerk's office, in each election jurisdiction.

The Department of State will mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters, and all new registrations will be treated like an absentee ballot application.

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