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Benson: Michigan needs legislative changes after issues with rejected absentee ballots

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Posted at 3:31 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 15:31:46-04

The amount of rejected absentee ballots highlights the need for legislative changes, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said.

Of the approximately 10,600 rejected ballots, more than 8,600 were due to signature verification issues or late arrival. Benson said these issues could be fixed by bills already introduced in the state legislature.

“The data demonstrates that thousands of people who cast otherwise valid votes were not able to participate in last week’s election solely because the Legislature failed to act ahead of the primary,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “With turnout and absentee ballot numbers expected to double or even triple in November, we could be looking at tens of thousands of Michigan citizens disenfranchised if the legislature again fails to act.”

The bills in the Legislature include:

  • HB 5987: Would allow mailed ballots to count if postmarked by Election Day even if they arrive up to two days later.
  • HB 5991: Would require clerks to contact voters if the signature on the absentee ballot does not match the one on their registration.