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Bills look to make absentee ballot process quicker

Nadya Peek|

2020 is the first year Michigan voters will have access to no-reason absentee voting, and election clerks are expecting a surge in absentee ballots.  Officials said legislation trying to help election clerks process absentee ballots.

A set of bills passed out of the Senate elections committee Thursday will allow clerks to remove ballots from the mailing envelope, but not the secrecy sleeve the day before the election.

Current law allows clerks to begin opening the envelopes on election morning.

Former Secretary of State and current Senator Ruth Johnson said, her bills will help save time.

“Well just think, how many seconds do you think it will take to open that envelope? And then, pull it out of it, and then be able to take the perf off with the number on it so that it can be accounted for? I think it will have substantial savings that will really make a difference.”

Critics, including Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the bills don’t go far enough.