Michigan’s secretary of state said on Sunday her state’s full results of the Nov. 3 elections won’t be available on Election Day, advising voters it could take a week for a final tally.
“We should be prepared for this to be closer to an election week as opposed to an election day,” Jocelyn Benson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The bottom line is we are not going to have the full results and a counting of all of our ballots on election night. We already know that. We’ve asked the legislature to make changes to the laws to give us more ability to be prepared and count those ballots more efficiently.”
But Benson added the legislature hasn’t acted on her requests, though her office has increased tabulators and capacity to count ballots. The most important aspect to this year’s elections, she said, is accuracy.
“If it takes a few extra days to ensure we have a full and accurate counting as a result of every race, that’s what it’s going to take,” Benson said. “We’re going to be transparent throughout that whole process to make sure every citizen knows exactly where we are in the counting process and how many more ballots we have to get through.”
She said yes when asked by NBC host Chuck Todd whether she was concerned over candidates being falsely declared as the winner on election night.
“To me, that’s just going to be another example of the type of misinformation and disinformation that we’re seeing multiple ways from multiple platforms and voices in this election cycle,” Benson said. “So, we are going to counter that misinformation with truth and accuracy.”
In Michigan, voters can vote early by mail or return ballots through drop boxes throughout the state. As well, she added voters can vote early in person at a clerk’s office and that every precinct will be open on Election Day.
“We’ve been able to hone this plan for November through three successful elections that we’ve had already this year where we’ve seen in every single one, turnout has doubled, putting us on track to have Michigan’s November election be the highest turnout ever in the history of our state,” Benson explained.
Benson noted she’s been in communication with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and postal leaders in Michigan. Along with working to amp up mail-in voting, Benson said she’s also dealing with the voter’s perception.
“The changes in the postal service, if nothing else, have created confusion and chaos where none existed prior,” Benson said. “So, the voter education and the confidence boosting we now have to do and will do to ensure voters feel confident that their vote is counted is a key part of our work moving forward.”