Michigan’s Whitmer on Expected Delay of Election Results: ‘I’m Not Going to Put a Number on It’

October 11, 2020 Updated: October 12, 2020

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday wouldn’t say whether her state’s election results will be announced on Nov.3.

During an interview with CBS’s “Face The Nation,” the Democratic governor was asked how long it will take for the state to be able to report the definitive results of the November presidential election. According to Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the state is already expecting delays in counting votes, meaning that the voters will be unlikely to know the results on election night.

“Jocelyn Benson is a national expert when it comes to election law,” Whitmer told host Margaret Brennan. “She has said we are going to get every vote counted, and we’re going to keep people safe as they go to vote.”

“Michigan will be able to announce results, but we are not going to have artificial deadlines set by people with political agendas,” she continued. “It will be soon after polls closed. I’m not going to put a number on it, but we’re going to get it right.”

Benson said in early September that Michigan’s November election be “the highest turnout ever” in the state’s history.

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

Brennan then asked about how Michigan expects to maintain election integrity while allowing ballots showing up days or even weeks later to be counted, as long as those envelopes are postmarked by the eve of Nov. 3. Whitmer replied that her state is “prepared.”

“We are prepared to make sure that this election goes smoothly. We’re going to keep people safe as they go to the polls. And we will not tolerate anyone who’s trying to interfere with someone’s ability to safely vote,” she said. “We are still in the middle of a global pandemic, which is why we’re really encouraging people to avail themselves of the ability to vote absentee and drop off their ballots.”

Suggesting mail-in ballots may be “manipulated,” President Donald Trump has encouraged his supporters to go to polling places as “poll watchers,” especially in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, to guard against voter fraud.

“I am urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully, because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it,” Trump said in the first presidential debate. “Today there was a big problem in Philadelphia. They went in to watch, they’re called poll watchers, a very safe, very nice thing. They were thrown out, they weren’t allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia, bad things.”