Benson anticipates total voter turnout of more than 5 million

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DETROIT (WOOD) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says more than 2 million people are expected to vote in person Tuesday.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. For those who go to the polls in person, Benson urged the wearing of masks to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The in-person votes are in addition to the more than 2.9 million absentee ballots already submitted as of Monday morning.

More than 3.4 million people have requested to vote absentee, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Election officials urge remaining absentee voters to drop off their ballots in person at their clerk’s office or a drop box in their jurisdiction to ensure their vote is counted. Ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. Tuesday to be counted.

If Benson’s expectations prove accurate, Michigan could see more than 5 million total votes and could break records.

“Based on basic math, we should expect it would take no more than 80 hours to count those ballots, which would take us through Friday,” Benson said, adding that a meticulous counting process “takes time” and “always has.”

“At the end of the process, the public can be assured that the unofficial results we announce whenever there is a full tabulation will be an accurate reflection of the will of the people,” she said.

She said her office and local clerks have added more tabulation machines and hired more election workers to keep the process moving as smoothly as possible. Extra workers are on standby in case of shortages for any reason.

Not referencing President Donald Trump by name, Benson said she expects to hear from detractors claiming Michigan’s count is flawed. But she promised it will be methodical and the results accurate, saying her office has checked and double-checked the security of infrastructure in the months and weeks leading up to the election.

“Every step of the way, members of my administration and I will work to swiftly correct any misinformation we see or hear about, just as we have all year But it is a team effort to ensure that we are truly successful,” Benson said.

She urged people to seek out reliable sources for information about the security of the election and report false information about the election to misinformation@michigan.gov.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in voting is ripe for fraud, a claim that is not supported by facts.

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