(CBS DETROIT) – The August 2020 primary is keeping clerks busy election night after being slammed with large shipment of mail-in ballots.
“That’s going to be a process and I think that’s why I came down personally to maybe expedite it even more so because again I mean they even talked about it being two or three days before they know what the totals are. So in given that process, I’m not sure if my vote got there or not. It’s still that question mark you know if i didn’t come down,” said Detroit voter Ronald Lee.
In addition to in-person votes, a surge in absentee ballots creates a new challenge in keeping score.
“A little concerned because I kept hearing that the post office is they’re being delayed. I never heard of that in the history of the post office and generally I’m in business for myself so I mail things out and my people usually get them within three or four days so they haven’t had a problem getting mail and then all of a sudden, I hear there’s a problem so I didn’t really want to take a chance. That’s why i wanted to come down,” said Detroit voter Stephen Corbitt.
In Wayne County over 344,000 ballots were requested, Oakland County following behind at 333,000, staggering numbers and unmarked territory leaving voters wondering if the load can be handled.
“Well we have a good relationship with the postal service. We’re in constant communication with their leadership. We’ve redesigned our envelopes this year to make them more identifiable so the post office can move them through. With that said there’s a lot of uncertainties and variables this year that we’re planning for,” said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
Benson tells CW50 voters can trust the process in the 2020 primary as clerks work through the kinks preparing for an even smoother run in the general election.
“Hundreds of people are working to open the envelopes, check the signatures, prepare ballots to be tabulated, running them through our high-speed tabulators and coming up with results,” said Benson.
Secretary Benson confirms that two million people requested mail-in ballots across the state, setting a record for any election in Michigan’s history.
“So we may not have results of the election instantaneously at 8 (p.m.) or 9 (p.m.) like people might be accustomed to because so many people are voting by mail than ever before and those ballots opened or begun to be processed under our current law until election day morning. So we hope to change that in November to give our clerks more time. We’ve given them more machines and people to increase the efficient processing of those mailed-in ballots but it still gonna take some extra time and we’ll see (on Aug. 4) how things go throughout the state and what, if more, resources we need to provide in the fall to increase the efficiency of the process,” she said.