Michigan Senate okays bill allowing early processing of mail-in ballots

File photo Absentee ballot voting
Posted at 7:33 AM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 07:33:52-04

LANSING, Mich. — 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 months-long 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.

A 2018 ballot initiative lets people cast votes by mail for any reason.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Thursday, Sept. 24: Early voting begins, absentee ballots begin being mailed
Monday, Oct. 19: Online, postmarked-by voter registration deadline
Tuesday, Oct. 20 through 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3: In-person registration allowed with local clerk
Friday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.: Deadline to request absentee ballot by mail
Monday, Nov. 2: Absentee/mail-in postmarked-by deadline
Tuesday, Nov. 3: In-person voting