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State is mailing voting information to millions of potential Michigan voters

Jocelyn Benson
Benson for Secretary of State

The Michigan Department of State is notifying millions of potential Michigan voters how to register and cast ballots in the November election. The mailings are expected to arrive in people's mailboxes within a week or so, according to the Department's press release.

Letters are on their way to about 700,000 Michiganders who have a Michigan driver's license or state ID and who are eligible to vote but not yet registered in Michigan. The letters explain how to register and how to apply for an absentee ballot.

Approximately 130,000 of  the people on this mailing list are being notified that they can be automatically registered to vote. According to the press release, these are Michiganders who are listed as U.S. citizens in the state's driving records and who visited a Secretary of State office after a 2018 propoal was passed by the voters that instituted automatic voter registration but before automatic voter registration was implemented. These individuals will be registered to vote automatically unless they opt out as described in the notice. 

Postcards also have been sent out to the 4.4 million registered, active voters who are not on the permanent absent voter application list and who have not yet requested an absentee ballot. The postcards explain how to apply for one. Voters on the permanent absent voter application list will automatically receive an absentee ballot application in the mail. 

According to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the goal of the mailings is to counteract increasing levels of disinformation about election processes.

"Efforts to confuse and misinform Michigan voters are escalating in volume and frequency as we head into this fall," said Benson. "As a result, it is more important than ever that voters receive official, trusted, reliable information from our office to ensure they know their rights and how to exercise them."

In a seperate announcement,  the Department of State said more than 2.1 million Michiganders have already applied for absentee ballots as of Tuesday. It said even with eight weeks to go before the November election, this is the largest number of absentee ballots ever requested in Michigan.

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Virginia Gordan has been a part-time reporter at Michigan Radio since fall 2013. She has a general beat covering news topics from across the state.
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