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SOS spokesperson: “Long lines” might be due to social distancing

"SOCIAL DISTANCING..." by foto_graffiti is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

It’s likely that most of the ballots have already been cast on in today’s elections. That’s because of the sheer volume absentee ballots already cast in Michigan. It’s easier to vote absentee in this election too. And more people are avoiding polling places during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jake Rollow is the spokesman for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

“Our expectation has been about 2 million people will vote today, and that about 3 million people will vote absentee, so about 5 million total has been sort of our expectation from the beginning,” said Rollow.

That would be both a record number of votes and a record number of absentee ballots.

Rollow said there are reports of long lines at some precincts, but that might just be because people are required to stand at least six feet apart.

Rick Pluta is the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He is heard daily on WCMU's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.