Election 2020 During COVID-19: City Clerk Reports On Detroit Voting Numbers

Detroit City Clerk, Janice Winfrey, held a press conference late Tuesday evening to discuss tallying absentee ballots, voter turnout, and activity across the city’s voting precincts. With close to 200,000 absentee ballots mailed to Detroit residents, the city clerk reports a high number of returns.

“We’ve issued 190,000 absentee ballots and about 172,000 of those were returned,” Winfrey says. “We have about 120,000 absentee ballots that have been tabulated. However, only about 80,000 of those have been published. Meaning that the difference has to go through the adjudication process.”

With just over 40,000 ballots to go through the adjudication process, Daniel Baxter, Election Consultant for the city of Detroit, explains what that means to release the official results.

“When the ballot is processed through the high-speed tabulator, what occurs is it takes a snapshot of those ballots that have over-votes, under-votes, blank ballots and write-ins. Then those ballots have to be looked at by a democrat and republican,” Baxter explains of the process.

As the ballots are processed, the election consultant is confident poll workers will take an accurate account of the votes by late evening on November 4.

“As the clerk mentioned, we’re very confident we will be through this process by this time tomorrow,” Baxter says.

With a reported 48 percent voter turnout for Detroit in the 2016 presidential election, Detroit is reporting one of the highest voter turnouts with 53 percent voter turnout.

“We know that we’ve had about 15 percent of our voters show up at the precincts today to vote their ballot in person. So, we expect a little uptick in the turnout from the projection earlier this week. We expect we’ll have about 53 to 55 percent turnout for this election,” Winfrey explains.

First-time voter Mackenzie Cepnick, a student at Wayne State University, is participating in the presidential election via absentee ballot. While some voters expressed concerns about tampering, this newcomer was undeterred.

“It was absentee, but in person. There were no concerns really,” Cepnick says.

Immersing in the political arena and forming opinions to help shape the future, new voters want to ensure their voices are heard at the polls.

“The most important issues to me are racial equality and women’s rights,” Cepnick shares. “These are major issues this year and there needs to be a president in office than can handle these issues properly.”

Although it’s too early to call the local and national races at the time of print, stay with the Michigan Chronicle for election updates as they become available.


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