Michigan May Need up to a Week to Count Mail-In Ballots, Top Official Says

September 6, 2020 Updated: September 7, 2020

Michigan may need as long as a week after Nov. 3 to tally the votes from the general election since the state’s rules prohibit officials from processing mailed absentee ballots before Election Day, according to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

“We should be prepared for this to be closer to an election week as opposed to an Election Day. The bottom line is we are not going to have the full results and accounting of all of our ballots on election night. We already know that,” Benson told NBC.

“We’ve asked the legislature to make changes to the law to give us more ability to be prepared and count those ballots more efficiently. They have not acted, for reasons that I don’t fully, completely understand.”

Benson said she’s bringing on more tabulators to increase the vote-counting capacity.

“If it takes a few extra days to ensure we have a full and accurate counting of the results of every race, that’s what it’s going to take,” Benson said. “We’re going to be transparent throughout that whole process to make sure every citizen knows exactly where we are in the counting process and how many more ballots we have to get through.”

States such as North Carolina and Ohio can report election results faster because they can process mailed ballots before Election Day. North Carolina will be able to count and report about 80 percent of all of the votes reported on election night, Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, told NBC.

President Donald Trump has said that mail-in voting may delay the election by two or three months, while opening the door to potential voter fraud.

“There is no way you can go through a mail-in vote without massive cheating,” Trump told Axios last month. “This election won’t be decided on the evening of November 3rd. This election could be decided two months later.”

At least 83 percent of American voters will be able to cast their vote by mail for the 2020 election. Fifty-one million voters will receive ballots automatically, and 44 million will be sent ballot request applications.

More than 43 percent of likely voters wouldn’t trust the integrity of the election result if state election officials sent unsolicited mail ballot requests or mail ballots to everyone on voter rolls, according to a national Epoch Times survey conducted by Big Data Poll. Nearly 57 percent said they would trust the result.

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