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Politics

Secretary of State announces plan to send absentee ballot applications to every registered voter

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Michigan secretary of state Jocelyn Benson announced on Tuesday that absentee ballot applications will be delivered to all 7.7-million registered voters for the August and November elections.

The move is intended to protect public health.

It remains unclear what the status of coronavirus will be towards the end of the year.

Jocelyn Benson said no voter should be afraid of casting their vote.

“Certainly in the midst of a pandemic citizens want to know that they can have their voice heard. They have an important right to ensure that their ability to hold elected officials accountable is secure at this time.”

Benson said during the May elections 99% of voters opted to vote absentee. Turnout in that election doubled.

“What we saw in the local elections on May 5th that were held in 55 communities across the state was that when Michigan citizens know they have this option to vote by mail they exercise it.”

Benson said she wants to make sure voters are aware that absentee voting is an option.

“This is really only our second statewide election in August where citizens will have a right to vote by mail. But we want them to feel certainty in it, that they have a right to vote by mail and that doing so is safe, easy, and secure.”

The move could face a legal challenge.

Republican lawmakers did not respond to our request for comment.