LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Roughly 16% of registered voters in Michigan have applied for absentee ballots in the weeks ahead of the Presidential Primary election, according to the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. 

”I’m thrilled to see so many Michiganders engaged and energized about this month’s presidential primary,” said Benson in a statement. “Whether you choose to vote early – from home or at an early voting location – or in person on Election Day, clerks across the state are ready to ensure you are able to cast your ballot safely and securely.” 

What are important dates to remember?

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With less than a month until Election Day in Michigan’s Presidential primary, almost 1.3 million voters have requested absentee ballots. That’s an 80% increase from the same time before the 2020 Presidential Primary. While absentee voting is underway according to the Sec. of State’s office, in-person early voting begins statewide on Saturday, Feb. 17; and Election Day is Tuesday, Feb. 27.

 “Absent voter ballot request data shows that 1,287,265 Michiganders have requested an absentee ballot as of Feb. 6,” according to Sec. Benson’s office. “As a comparison, 713,465 Michiganders had requested absentee ballots three weeks before the 2020 presidential primary.”

Already, 1,083,863 ballots have been sent to voters by clerks this year, and 391,404 voters have completed their ballots and returned them to be counted. A breakdown by jurisdiction is available online.

Why the surge?

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According to Benson’s office, there are several areas to consider after the state passed Proposal 2, which created a permanent mail ballot list.

“Eligible Michigan residents can register by mail or online to vote through Feb. 12 or at their local clerk’s office through 8 p.m. on Election Day,” the office said. “Under Michigan law, voters can cast a ballot for only one party’s candidates during the Presidential Primary and must select either a Democratic or Republican ballot before casting their vote. However, if the voter does not wish to participate in the presidential selection, and their jurisdiction has local contests to be decided, they can request a local-only ballot instead.” 

How can I track my absentee ballot?

Voters in the state of Michigan do not need to register by party, but can instead select ballots from one of the two parties. However, third-party or minor party presidential candidates are selected by a different process according to the Sec. of State. 

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Absentee applications and ballots are trackable here, or by reaching out to local election clerks. 

“Absentee ballots have prepaid postage and can be returned by U.S. mail,” according to the Sec. of State’s office. “Voters who still need to return their completed ballot can drop it off at their clerk’s office or designated secure ballot drop box to avoid postal delays.” 

For those interested in more election information, they can see here, and to locate an early voting site see here