Michigan Senate OKs more time to process absentee ballots

Michigan News

FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2016 file photo, then Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, talks during an interview at her office in Lansing, Mich. A bill sponsored by now Republican Sen. Ruth Johnson, would allow Michigan clerks to start processing absentee ballots before Election Day. (AP Photo/David Eggert File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Larger Michigan municipalities could begin processing an expected surge of absentee ballots sooner in the November presidential election under a bill approved by the state Senate.

The 34-2 vote Tuesday follows a monthslong delay in the Republican-led chamber amid lobbying from clerks in both parties who warned of significant delays in counting the votes.

The GOP-controlled House will consider the measure next.

Absentee voting is an increasingly popular option during the coronavirus pandemic and following the passage of a 2018 ballot initiative that lets people cast one for any reason.

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