Absentee ballots should be returned immediately ahead of August 4 primary

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By Tracy Wimmer, Secretary of State’s Office

Vote early at clerk’s office now through Monday

With one week remaining before the August 4 statewide primary, voters with absentee ballots should mail them immediately or drop them off at their local drop box or clerk’s office as soon as possible. Michigan law states all ballots must be received by the clerk by 8 p.m. on August 4 in order to be counted. A list of ballot drop boxes is available online. Voters may only return their ballot to the drop box of their city or township.

“Voters should get their absentee ballots returned as quickly as possible,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “This close to the primary, Michiganders should return their absentee ballots to their clerk’s office directly, or submit them via their local ballot drop box, in order to ensure their vote is counted.”

All absentee ballot requests should now be made in person at the clerk’s office, and with the possibility of postal delays ahead of the primary, voters should prepare to both request and vote their ballot in the same visit. Ballots can be requested, filled out and immediately returned to the clerk now through 4 p.m. on August 3. Those still needing to register and then request and fill out a ballot can do so at their clerk’s office now through 8 p.m. on August 4.

The absent voter ballot count continues to climb, with more than 900,000 ballots already returned. More than 1.9 million have been issued, coming close to the 2.2 million total turnout for the 2018 primary, the highest primary turnout on record. A side by side comparison of the absent voter ballot data 7 days before the 2020 and 2016 primary elections is below and a breakdown of the numbers by jurisdiction is available online.

7 Days Before Election (July 26, 2016) 7 Days Before Election (July 28, 2020)
Number of Applications Received 540,271 1,977,095
Number of Ballots Issued 546,032* 1,977,116*
Number of Ballots Returned 307,253 903,717


*The number of ballots issued is greater than the number of applications received as it represents


About the Author:

Janell Johnson is an Administrative Secretary in the City Clerk's office.
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