Michigan on Track for Record Turnout; full results expected within 24 hours
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson expects a record 5.5 million votes to be cast in the November election, beating the historic turnout in 2008.
Benson, speaking to Ford Field media less than three hours after the polls closed on Tuesday, said she expected 3.5 million postal votes returned and 2 million votes cast in person. Benson said many local clerks will have finished compiling the results on Tuesday evening, while full statewide results could be released on Wednesday evening.
“We know a lot of other jurisdictions are speeding up their compilation, so I expect we will have a very clear picture, if not a final picture, of Michigan’s unofficial results in the next 24 hours,” Benson said.
Michigan’s previous turnout record was set in 2008. There were 5 million votes in that election, with 66% of registered voters voting. She expects up to 72% of the state’s roughly 8 million registered voters to vote in the 2020 election.
Benson said 28,000 voters registered to vote in person on election day, breaking another record. Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids recorded the highest number of registrations on the same day, she said.
There were nearly 180,000 absentee votes cast in Detroit, Benson said, out of 120,000 were cast on Tuesday. Benson said the numbers are indicative of a “healthy” democracy.
The secretary of state also warned residents not to over-read the results until all votes are counted.
“We recognize that there are a lot of eyes on Michigan tonight, and there will be in the days to come,” said Benson. “Our people have really stepped up to provide data as soon as possible, but we are also focused on accuracy,” she said.
Benson said the process is moving faster than expected, due to the work of clerks and volunteers over the past 22 months. Benson also celebrated “peace” at polling stations on Tuesday.
She pointed to an exchange between supporters of President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden in Macomb County, which began with supporters of the two candidates shouting at each other before the groups came together to chant “God Bless America.” .
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