- Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Sunday that officials are expecting “an Election Week, as opposed to an Election Day” this November as a rush of mail-in ballots will delay counted votes.
- Michigan was one of several key swing states the US Postal Service warned last month could face serious delays in voting as “certain deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous with the Postal Service’s delivery standards,” The New York Times reported.
- Benson said the delays could lead to the state declaring a phony winner, but officials plan on keeping the public updated to the best of their abilities while ballots are being counted.
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Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Sunday that the state is expecting to take a week determining its 2020 Election as officials brace for a flood of mail-in and early ballots.
“We should be prepared for this to be closer to an Election Week, as opposed to an Election Day,” Benson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The bottom line is we are not going to have the full results and a counting of all of our ballots on Election Night. We already know that.”
Benson said despite the state legislature neglecting to change the law to allow workers to start counting ballots before Election Day, voting officials are increasing tabulators needed to count votes as she remains “laser-focused on accuracy.”
“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked if Benson was concerned “people may take the delay in getting all the results in Michigan to declare a phony winner.”
“Yes,” Benson said. “But to me, that’s just going to be another example of the type of misinformation and disinformation that we’re seeing multiple ways from multiple platforms and voices in this election cycle. So we’re going to counter that misinformation with truth and accuracy,” in the form of keeping the public updated while ballots are being counted.
Benson added that every secretary of state should count on “being that source of trusted information of clear facts and data” as officials across the US “seek to cut through lots of different rhetoric that’s going to only be increasing in the weeks coming up to Election Day and beyond.”
Benson’s warning about accuracy issues in the upcoming election comes after months of President Donald Trump and his allies decrying mail-in voting as rife with fraud, though there is no substantial evidence to support that the method is a threat to the election’s accuracy.
The Postal Service warned 40 states last month, including key swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan, a serious warning that “certain deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous with the Postal Service’s delivery standards,” The New York Times reported.
The state laws on ballots, combined with cost-cutting mandates by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that have slowed down mail journeys across the US, could affect initial election results in several key states this November, Business Insider’s Grace Panetta previously reported. The stark differences between voters of different parties and their voting methods of choice could mean delays hand Trump an early victory.
The president has aired baseless conspiracy theories about mail-in voting and interference over the last several months, even saying on Twitter in July that the US should “delay” the 2020 election, but he does not have the power to postpone the election or delay the potential end of his term.