Nov 8, 2022 - Politics

Michigan election results expected 24 hours after polls close

Absentee counting room at Detroit's Huntington Place

Absentee ballot counting room at Detroit's Huntington Place, formerly the TCF Center. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

State officials are expecting the results from Tuesday's midterm elections within about 24 hours after the polls close at 8pm.

Why it matters: Absentee ballots, which will make up about half of all votes cast, take longer to process than ballots cast in person.

  • State law allows limited processing of absentee ballots before Election Day and workers can't start officially counting them until polls open Tuesday at 7am.

Driving the news: In Detroit, workers drive memory cards containing unofficial results to the Department of Elections, which uploads the data into election software and transmits it via telephone line to the Wayne County Bureau of Elections.

  • Wayne County has 43 local clerks and won't report results until receiving results from each one, the county tells Axios.

What they're saying: "Michigan voters can be confident that, no matter how they choose to cast their ballot or who they vote for, they will be safe, their vote will be counted securely, and the results of this election will be an accurate reflection of the will of the voters," Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement.

  • "Voters should be wary of the likelihood that some may seize on this time and space to spread misinformation and lies about the tabulation process and preemptively claim results."

Between the lines: More Michiganders are voting absentee this year than in 2018 — about 1.3 million absentee ballots have been submitted as of Nov. 3, with another 3 million residents expected to vote by absentee ballot and in-person. About 70,000 absentee ballots have been returned in Detroit.

  • That means tabulating the total number of votes will take longer than usual.
  • Results might initially skew Republican, as those voters are more inclined to vote in-person, which are able to be counted faster, the Detroit News reports.

Reminder: Each of Detroit's 169 polling places are fully staffed and ready for voters today. Even if you aren't yet registered to vote, you can still cast a ballot by visiting your local clerk's office and presenting valid ID and proof of residency.

  • Individuals must have lived in Michigan for 30 days before Election Day in order to cast a ballot.

Of note: Michigan law allows voters to give their ballot to immediate family or a member of their household to drop off at a clerk's office or drop box.


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