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Republican legislature wants to appeal decision over absentee ballots

Republican legislature wants to appeal decision over absentee ballots
Posted at 5:15 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 17:15:10-04
LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) —

Michigan's legislature is hoping to appeal a decision that currently allows Michigan absentee ballots to be counted as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 2.

The Republican-controlled House and Senate filed a motion to appeal after both Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said they won't appeal the decision.

Judge Cynthia Stephens said state officials have until Sept. 28 to file responses.

In the court filing, an attorney said Nessel and Benson "are not protecting the state's interest in the constitutionality of a Michigan statute.

“The evidence in this case stands uncontroverted and establishes that the mail system is currently fraught with delays and uncertainty in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stephens said in her ruling last week.

"No eligible voter should be disenfranchised through no fault of their own for exercising their right to vote by mail," Benson said in a statement. "The court’s decision recognizes many of the unique challenges that the pandemic has created for all citizens and will reduce the potential for voter disenfranchisement due to mail delays. However we still want voters to make a plan to vote now, and not wait until the last minute if they want to vote by mail. That’s why we will continue to strongly encourage voters to request and return their absentee ballots as soon as possible."

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