State officials held a press conference Wednesday discussing what they expect to be a record-breaking voter turnout on Election Day.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was joined by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, and Attorney General Dana Nessel.
“We’re seeing record-breaking voter turnout in Michigan this year, more people voting absentee than ever before, and we’re on track to see this record-breaking turnout under extraordinary circumstances with the pandemic, Michigan voters are going to show the country we overwhelmingly trust our election system,” said Benson.
A recorded 3.25 million people have requested a ballot with about 2.4 million already submitting their vote.
Whitmer urged residents to make a plan prior to casting their votes in order to ensure the process will go seamlessly.
“Every one of us needs to make a plan. Schedule time in your day to fill out your ballot and take it in. Make sure your friends and your family and your neighbors do the same,” said Whitmer.
Michiganders can visit mi.gov/vote for more information on the voting process.
Whitmer informed that election results would take more time than usual due to the “dramatic increase in absentee voting and the state law that provides only limited time for clerks to Prepare absentee ballots before Election Day.”
In recent weeks, Michigan has been under the attack of voters who believe state officials will falsify information and compromise the integrity of the election.
Benson says that these attacks are full of misinformation and that they are the goal of people who hope to “ensure, or attempt to ensure, that voters doubt the legitimacy of our election.”
Benson continued to say the attacks will not succeed.
The same spirit that drives the 1600 election clerics that are carrying out elections with the highest of ethical standards…this spirit is in far too many Michigan citizens to be overcome by lies and scare tactics.
Of those scare tactics, the open carry of firearms has presented itself as the largest concern for elected officials.
Focus was placed on Nessel’s emergency appeal against the preliminary injunction allowing the open carry of firearms.
The injunction was in response to Benson’s ban on guns being carried openly at polling places on Nov. 3. Guns rights activists have expressed their criticism of the ban, citing it as a violation of their second amendment rights.
Issues of voter intimidation were sparked in previous weeks after the failed kidnapping of Whitmer on Oct. 8.
“If you do plan to go to the polls on Nov. 3 remember voter intimidation of any kind is illegal. No one has the right to stand between you and casting your ballot,” said Gilchrist.
Michigan officials assured residents that they will be safe while voting on Election Day. In-person is set to carry on as normal and law enforcement officials will only be utilized if absolutely necessary.
Voters can drop off their ballots at their local clerk’s office, vote early at a polling place, or vote in person on Nov. 2.
If voters wish to change their vote, they can do so until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30 by mail. A new ballot can be requested, but voters must sign the request stating that they’d like a new ballot mailed to them or available for pickup.