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Time growing short for MI voters to request an absentee ballot by mail

a michigan absentee ballot
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

The Michigan Secretary of State’s office says time is growing short for people to request an absentee ballot by mail in time to return it to be counted.

The state Bureau of Elections — which is part of the Michigan Department of State — recommends people who don’t request an absentee ballot by Monday should either head over to their local clerk’s office to get one or show up to vote in-person on Election Day.

Otherwise, Secretary of State Communications Director Jake Rollow said Tuesday, there’s no guarantee their ballots will be counted in time.

“October 24 is usually when we start telling people that it’s best to go in and get their ballot or hand deliver their ballot if they already have it,” he said in a weekly conference call on the status of election preparations.

He said it’s expected about half the ballots cast this year will be absentee. Rollow said ballots can also be deposited in drop boxes before 8 p.m. on November 8.

Rollow said state and local election officials and law enforcement are ramping up to be on the lookout for trouble at polling places and absentee counting boards on Election Day.

“We are, of course, prepared should anyone cause a disruption or attempt to interfere with the election,” he said.

Rollow said many election results probably won’t be known until 24 hours after the polls close.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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