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Absentee voting jumps in Michigan

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

There’s been a sharp increase in the number of absentee ballotrequests before next month’s election. Almost a million absentee ballots have been requested; that’s up more than 20% from 2014. 

Mark Grebner is a Democratic political consultant. He believes more absentee voters bodes well for Democrats in statewide races.

“The larger turnout is going to make it difficult for the Republicans to carry the state,” says Grebner, though he adds the effect will be less for local offices. 

Dennis Darnoi is a Republican political consultant. He’s seeing the same numbers Mark Grebner is seeing.  

”You’re seeing an influx of voters who are generally low propensity voters,” says Darnoi, “Meaning that they don’t normally vote in gubernatorial years. So people can draw conclusions on who that may benefit.”

Darnoi says the increase in absentee ballots is spread around the state, which may also signal more Republican voters. Though Darnoi says it’s unclear if those voters will vote a straight GOP ticket.

State Democratic Party leaders are hoping a “blue wave” of voters will help them win several statewide races, including governor, as well as tip some legislative seats from Republican to Democrat.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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