Here are your Election Day live updates

Laina G. Stebbins graphic for election 2020

Happy Election Day! Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you have questions about voting, here’s our handy Voting Guide.

The Michigan Advance team is fanning out all over Michigan on Tuesday to bring you the latest in election news, from interviewing voters to reports on election turnout to results (after polls close).

Ken Coleman, Susan J. Demas, Laina G. Stebbins, Allison Donahue, C.J. Moore, Andrew Roth, Alexis Stark and Matt Schmucker will be providing photos and updates throughout the day and evening.

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3 months ago

12:44 am

Why you’re not seeing results stories from the Advance — yet

By: Susan J. Demas

We’re into the wee hours of Wednesday and there are some election results in for Michigan. But given the record-breaking turnout and 3.2 million absentee ballots — many of which are not in current totals — we are waiting to get a fuller picture before we report on individual race results.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Thursday night that she expects a full preliminary count within 24 hours.

Michigan State University voting | Anna Liz Nichols

Michigan isn’t alone — Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are in the same boat, as they don’t count ballots early either.

In the meantime, we have plenty of stories and photos of voters and what’s important to them this election. And we’ll keep bringing you more election news on Wednesday and beyond.

Last updated:12:44 am

3 months ago

12:39 am

Benson says Michigan prepared to defend absentee ballots in Supreme Court

By: Andrew Roth

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Tuesday that the state of Michigan is prepared to defend the integrity of absentee ballots before the Supreme Court, should the election’s results be challenged. 

“We will defend every vote, defend every voter, ensure every ballot is counted,” Benson said, “We’re fully ready to defend the will of the voters both in the public narrative and in the courts for whatever it takes.”

Benson was holding a press conference at Ford Field on Tuesday night, where eight of Detroit’s receiving boards are set up. 

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson at Ford Field in Detroit, Nov. 3, 2020 | Andrew Roth

She reminded voters and media to remain patient and to not give legitimacy to premature claims of victory.

“I’m really here tonight to ask you all to be patient,” Benson said. “We’re going to count every single vote in the state of Michigan, no matter how long it takes, no matter what candidates say, we’re going to work methodically and meticulously to count every single valid ballot. And that, and only that, will determine who wins every race on the ballot in the state of Michigan.”

If a candidate does prematurely claim victory, Benson said her office will respond “with facts and data and accurate information, just as we’ve done every step of the way throughout this process. The bottom line is candidates don’t get to choose who wins an election, voters do.”

While final numbers were not yet available, Benson said about 3.26 million Michigan residents voted absentee and estimated that between 2 and 2.5 million more voted in person on Tuesday.

But despite the number of absentee ballots to count, Benson said the state could have final tabulations within 24 hours — significantly ahead of her earlier projection of Friday. 

“I’m confident that we’ll have more of an update for Detroit in the morning,” Benson said. “And so, we usually make estimates based on when they’re done, because it’s going to take them the longest because they have the most ballots. We know a lot of other jurisdictions are speeding through their tabulation so I expect we will have a very clear picture, if not a final picture, of history in the next 24 hours.”

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson at Ford Field in Detroit, Nov. 3, 2020 | Andrew Roth

Benson said 28,000 people registered to vote on Election Day, exercising a new right guaranteed by a state ballot proposal passed by voters in 2018.

“We witnessed and experienced history today,” Benson said. “There’s no question to me that this was a success, that democracy won the day, the voters and our clerks should all be proud of the work we’ve done together.”

Benson said that despite her order banning the open carry of firearms in polling places being struck down in court, there were no reports of voter intimidation.

“I think that we were very clear throughout that whole process that voter intimidation would not be tolerated in the state of Michigan,” Benson said. “I was unequivocal about that, and we were also unequivocal that brandishing a firearm was an example of voter intimidation. And so, I’m grateful that we got no reports of voter intimidation or threats at the polls.”

3 months ago

9:40 pm

Detroit clerk: Expect 100% of results 24 hours from now

By: Laina G. Stebbins

About 45 minutes after most polls closed in Michigan, Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey took the podium at Detroit’s TFC Center to answer questions from reporters about election results so far and when to expect a full count.

Winfrey noted that there had been “very, very few problems” at precincts Tuesday and Detroit will likely see results sooner than previously expected.

The city “should have 100% results by this time tomorrow,” Winfrey said.

According to the city clerk, about 172,000 of the 190,000 absentee ballots issued to Detroit voters have been returned. Of those, around 70% (~120,000) have so far been tabulated and 80,000 have been officially published.

Election consultant Daniel Baxter said that this means about 48,000 ballots still need to go through the adjudication process.

Nonetheless, Detroit might end up seeing its highest voter turnout in decades. The estimated turnout rate in 2020, expected to be around 53%-55%, could break the 2008 record.

The 2008 election turnout of 53% in Detroit was the highest the city has seen in 20-30 years, Baxter said. He said that the possibility of the 2020 turnout surpassing that record is “very telling.”

3 months ago

9:07 pm

Photo gallery: Voters head to the polls in Ingham, Livingston counties

By: Matt Schmucker

It’s 9 p.m. and polls are now closed in all 83 counties in Michigan. Here’s a gallery of voters heading to the polls in Lansing, Fowlerville, East Lansing and Howell.

3 months ago

8:45 pm

Health care, economy, environment and social justice drive Lansing-area voters to the polls 

By: Allison Donahue

Voters across Michigan showed up to polling locations to cast their ballots Tuesday, each with their own personal reasons behind why they voted for their presidential candidate. 

Rosalind Arch, 25, of Lansing, and Madeline Van Eck, 23, of Lansing, cast their ballots for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday with race, gender equality and the environment on the forefront of their minds.

“I think Joe Biden has a lot more women-centered policies, and same in regards to race. He’s making sure that we’re keeping in mind that Black Lives Matter and putting that philosophy in policies. And I want to make sure we get back into the Paris Agreement,” Arch said. 

Rosalind Arch and Madeline Van Eck (left to right) | Allison R. Donahue

Arch and Van Eck decided to go to the polls together in person on Election Day because they wanted to make sure that their vote was counted.

Lindy Hunter, 48, of Mason, went to vote with her 19-year-old daughter, Amelia Herross, who is a first time voter. 

Both Hunter and Herross cast their ballots for President Donald Trump. 

“I like what he has done for the economy, but I do wish he would be quiet sometimes,” Hunter said. 

Jacob Ellis, 26, of Holt, is a first time voter and cast his ballot for Biden. He also registered to vote on Election Day. 

He said Biden wasn’t his first choice candidate, but he feels he “can help bring the country together a little bit better than Trump.”

Jacob Ellis | Allison R. Donahue

Melissa Knight, a 49-year-old woman from Lansing, voted for Biden after voting for Trump in 2016.

“I originally voted for Trump, but I did a lot of research on him this time and I just don’t trust him. And I don’t like how he views females at all. That was probably the biggest issue for me,” Knight said. “I would just like to have some integrity back in the White House. That’s what I would like, more integrity, some honesty and some respect.”

Jaime Chisnell, 41, of Lansing, said he voted for Trump because he wants an “aggressive” candidate, but he didn’t make his decision until about four hours before he cast his vote.

His top priority when choosing who to vote for was affordable health care, he said. 

Anthony Scandrick, 48, of Lansing, said he was thinking about working families when he voted for Biden. 

He said it’s been hard for working families under the Trump administration, but “regardless of who the president is, I’m looking out for working families.”

3 months ago

7:05 pm

AFL-CIO, U.S. Chamber and faith groups ask for all votes to be counted

By: C.J. Moore

In a joint statement, leaders of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, several faith organizations and the AFL-CIO — the nation’s largest federation of unions — called for all votes cast for Tuesday’s general election to be counted.

“With voting ending today, it is imperative that election officials be given the space and time to count every vote in accordance with applicable laws,” leaders said in the statement. 

The statement comes as some states have experienced — and will likely see more — legal challenges to get ballots cast via drive-thru and curbside venues thrown out and to not count absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day. 

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The media, Americans and presidential candidates should “exercise patience” with the process, the statement reads. The officials who signed off on it include U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Signers also include National Association of Evangelicals President Walter Kim and National African American Clergy Network Co-Convener Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner.

“Although we may not always agree on desired outcomes up and down the ballot, we are united in our call for the American democratic process to proceed without violence, intimidation or any other tactic that makes us weaker as a nation,” the statement reads. “A free and fair election is one in which everyone eligible to cast a ballot can, all ballots are counted consistent with the law and the American people, through their votes, determine the outcome.”

3 months ago

6:51 pm

More than half of Detroit absentee votes have been counted thus far

By: Ken Coleman

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tweeted an Election Day voting update just before 6 p.m.

Vote processing in Detroit’s TCF Center | Ken Coleman photo

She said that: 

  • More than 100,000 of 170,000 absentee ballots in Detroit are already tabulated.
  • More than 18,000 eligible citizens registered and voted Tuesday.
  • The vast majority of those 18,000 who registered and voted Tuesday were in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids.

3 months ago

6:41 pm

Michigan still in minority for not allowing early ballot processing

By: Laina G. Stebbins

According to a roundup from Stateline, which highlights which states allow absentee and mail-in vote pre-processing prior to Election Day and which do not, Michigan remains one of less than a dozen states whose laws (for the most part) do not allow clerks to start sifting through ballots before Election Day.

Besides Michigan, only nine other states and the District of Columbia require the ballot-processing procedure to begin on the day of the election. 

Massachusetts and Mississippi are even stricter, with clerks there prohibited from starting to process early ballots before the close of polls on Election Day. With historic absentee voter turnout nationwide, laws like these are likely to slow down final results.

Counting absentee ballots, 2020 | Stateline chart

The GOP-controlled Legislature has been asked repeatedly by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, both Democrats, to pass legislation that would give local clerks more time to process early ballots.

Although the majority of the state still has to adhere to the rule of not counting early ballots until Election Day, Michigan cities with a population of 25,000 or more were allowed to begin pre-processing on Monday.

That makes Michigan one of a handful of states whose procedures have been modified for the 2020 election due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Other states include Maine, South Carolina, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Last updated:6:43 pm

3 months ago

6:22 pm

Despite COVID-19, student turnout ‘steady’ around MSU’s campus 

By: C.J. Moore

Sunny skies and a temperature that hovered around 60 degrees greeted the late afternoon crowd of Michigan State University student voters. 

Despite an absence of students on campus due to MSU’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, voter turnout on campus was “steady” on Tuesday, according to a number of election officials.

A same-day voter registration satellite office set up at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center saw a steady trickle of students all day, according to Marie Wicks, the chairperson of Precinct 11. 

But she noted a “vast majority” of the area’s voters had cast a ballot prior to Tuesday.

Things were quiet at the MSU Union, the polling location for Precinct 12, which encompasses only students on campus. 

Turnout was steady from 1 to 2 p.m. and beyond, said Cathy Scott, the chair of Precinct 12. Ninety-three voters had voted as of 3 p.m., which is not bad, Scott said. She said she and other election officials had sent about a half-dozen students to register to vote.

MSU secondary education senior Peyton Worst poses outside East Lansing City Hall, where she and members of the MSU NAACP passed out pizza and water to voters on Election Day. | C.J. Moore

Both Wicks and Scott said they anticipate an increase in turnout between 5 and 8 p.m., as more voters try to get their ballots in.

Outside East Lansing City Hall, students lined up to capitalize on same-day voter registration. By 4:30 p.m., lines had dwindled, but students outside were optimistic about the turnout they’d seen so far. 

Student Peyton Worst and a number of students took advantage of the sunshine and stood outside city hall to hand out water and pizza to voters. They said things seemed slower in the morning, but lines surged around 1 and 2 p.m.

Worst, a secondary education senior who’s also part of the MSU NAACP, said she cast her vote Monday. Interacting with voters has been a little weird this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

“More people are hesitant to accept just because of what’s going on right now,” Worst said, explaining the precautions she and her group had taken. 

She is surprised at how many students have turned out to vote in 2020, both before and on Election Day.

“Just basing it on the previous election in 2016, we did not have that much of a turnout for my age range, so it’s very, very encouraging to see that more people have turned out today.” Worst said. “Our lines have basically been just students.”

And Ryan Thomas, an engineering junior, said he was at city hall to ensure voters knew they were safe. Turnout was good, he said. 

A number of people also used the ballot drop box located at city hall, said Thomas, who is also a member of the Sigma chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

3 months ago

5:18 pm

Slotkin feels positive about election, but concerned about peaceful transfer of power

By: Allison Donahue

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) met up with voters at a polling place in South Lansing midday Tuesday to get a feel for how Election Day was going across the district.

It was her sixth stop that day, after making stops in Livingston County and Oakland County in the morning, and she said things have been running smoothly across the board and the “energy has been positive.”

Slotkin, who won her first term in 2018 in an area that backed Trump in 2016 and has long been considered GOP territory, faces Republican Paul Junge in the race for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District. 

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) meets with voters at a polling location in South Lansing Nov. 3, 2020 | Allison R. Donahue

The former Pentagon official said her biggest goal on Election Day is to make sure every vote is counted, but shared concern that President Donald Trump won’t accept the election results if he doesn’t win. 

“The second phase is that 78-day period that should be a peaceful transition of power, either to a second Trump administration or to a [Democratic nominee Joe] Biden administration, and obviously I’m hoping for a Biden administration,” Slotkin said. “But that’s always a period of a lot of churn, so we’re just gonna have to stay buckled up and keep our hands on the wheel and stay focused on that mission of transfer of power.”

Slotkin also noted Trump’s criticism of absentee ballots and her concern that he will question the results of the election, “but we have rules, we have laws, we have our way of doing things.”

The biggest issue she sees on the line this election is health care and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), something she has talked about frequently during her time in Congress and on the campaign trail. 

“It couldn’t be more clear that health care is quite literally on the ballot,” she said. “The Trump administration has made clear that they want to invalidate the entirety of the ACA, including protections for people with preexisting conditions. … And if you don’t have the House, if you don’t have the Senate and if you don’t have someone supportive in the White House, 20 million people could lose their health care.”

3 months ago

4:43 pm

Thousands register to vote on Election Day

By: Ken Coleman

More than 92% of all absentee ballots have been returned, according to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. 

Detroit Department of Elections | Ken Coleman

WDIV-TV anchor Devin Scillian reports through a tweet that Benson’s office says as of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday there had been about 12,500 new voter registrations done today at the polls. 

More than 3.1 million Michiganders voted before Election Day.

3 months ago

3:40 pm

Benson tells Alyssa Milano there’s ‘a lot of enthusiasm’ at the polls

By: Alexis Stark

Actress and liberal activist Alyssa Milano hosted a conversation with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Instagram Live to encourage Americans to vote and help reset the country’s leadership. 

“America is in crisis,” Milano said. “We only have today. Do whatever you can do to ensure Joe Biden is elected the next president of the United States.” 

Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Benson appeared upbeat and optimistic about a steady stream of voters and beautiful weather around the halfway point during Election Day 2020. 

“I’m loving every minute,” Benson said. “We’re seeing a lot of enthusiasm and when I visited precincts in Detroit, I witnessed such vigilance and people excited to vote.” 

According to Benson, approximately 3.1 million citizens voted early, about two thirds of the expected voter turnout, and she estimates another 2 to 2.5 million will vote today. 

“We’re on track to have numbers to report tonight but are mindful about waiting to report results until all the polls are closed in Michigan,” Benson said. 

In response to concerns for voter safety, Benson stated the state’s game plan is to be ready, vigilant and prepared for every potential contingency. 

Alyssa Milano (top) and Jocelyn Benson (bottom) on Instagram Live, Nov. 3, 2020

“After speaking with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, we’re seen a lot of false reports through social media,” Benson said. “We’re in problem-solving mode and want to make sure we halt the spread of any misinformation.” 

Earlier today, Nessel informed Flint residents who received robo calls that they were an effort to suppress voters. 

Milano posed a hypothetical question for Benson around the possibility and legality of a presidential candidate declaring their victory before all the votes were counted. 

“If something like that happens, I consider it to be misinformation,” Benson said “Candidates don’t decide who wins elections, voters do.”

Benson continued on to encourage voters to keep looking at the data and follow the information provided by people focused on telling the truth rather than pushing a party’s political narrative. 

When Milano asked if there is anything Michigan voters should know, Benson instructed voters to be mindful of the 8 p.m. deadline to vote at the polls and register to vote. Michigan residents can visit the state’s voting website to view a sample ballot, verify their voter registration status and find their polling location. Both women agreed there should be nothing stopping Michigan citizens from casting their ballot and no one has any excuses not to vote. 

Last updated:3:48 pm

3 months ago

2:49 pm

What would Dems winning the House mean? ‘More balance,’ Whitmer says.

By: Susan J. Demas

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was asked during a call with reporters Tuesday afternoon what it would mean if her party takes control of the state House after this election.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on a Zoom call with reporters, Nov. 3, 2020

Republicans have controlled the House for a decade. They currently hold a 58-51 voting advantage with one seat vacant, which was held by the late Rep. Isaac Robinson, a Detroit Democrat who died of a suspected COVID-19 infection in March.

Whitmer said that Dems flipping the chamber would “mean more balance.” She said there needs to be a more comprehensive plan to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as infrastructure, which was her top priority when elected in 2018.

The Senate is controlled by Republicans by a 22-16 margin, but senators aren’t on the ballot until 2022, so Whitmer will have to work with at least one chamber led by the GOP for the next two years.

Can Democrats win back the Michigan House after a decade?

More than 3 million people have voted absentee. Whitmer said she “would be stunned if there wasn’t record turnout.” She added that people are showing up at the polls, but “there has not been any drama and that’s a good thing.” While there have been some “shenanigans,” like robocalls, she said there has not, as of now, been voter intimidation reported.

3 months ago

2:29 pm

Whitmer says she’s not interested in joining potential Biden cabinet

By: Susan J. Demas

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reportedly made Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s short list for vice president before he ultimately tapped U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

But Whitmer told reporters on a call Tuesday that she had “no desire” to join Biden’s cabinet if he wins Tuesday’s election. She said she’s spent “a lot of time with Joe” and believes he’ll put together a “really incredible” and “forward-leaning” cabinet.

Former Vice President Joe Biden links arms with Sen. Kamala Harris and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Detroit, March 9, 2020 | Andrew Roth

But she quoted Democratic former Gov. Jim Blanchard when she said, “There’s not a cabinet position that rivals being the governor of Michigan.”

Whitmer added that as governor, tackling the COVID-19 pandemic with a potential Biden administration would be the top priority.

3 months ago

1:47 pm

Kamala Harris lands in Detroit

By: Susan J. Demas

Democratic vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris landed in Detroit Tuesday afternoon.

Reporter Andrew Roth is with her and will be reporting on Harris’ get out the vote events.

President Trump did events in Traverse City and Grand Rapids on Monday.

3 months ago

12:12 pm

Benson, Nessel warn about Flint robocall pushing misinformation

By: Susan J. Demas

Both Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Tuesday morning warned about a robo call going out to Flint residents pushing misinformation on voting.

“We received reports that an unknown party is purposefully spreading misinformation via robocalls in Flint in an attempt to confuse voters there, and I want to ensure everyone who plans to vote in person understands they must do so — or be in line to do so — by 8 p.m. today,” Benson said in a statement, “Lines in the area and across the state are minimal and moving quickly, and Michigan voters can feel confident that leaders across state and local government are vigilant against these kinds of attacks on their voting rights and attempts at voter suppression, and we will be working quickly all day to stamp out any misinformation aimed at preventing people from exercising their right to vote.

Benson urged those with questions to call their clerk or visit Michigan.gov/Vote. Any misinformation can be reported to [email protected].

Far-right operatives Wohl and Burkman arraigned in court on voter suppression charges

As the Advance reported last month, far-right operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman were arraigned in a Michigan court on felony charges of orchestrating robocalls to deter voters in Detroit from engaging in the election. They pleaded not guilty.

3 months ago

11:47 am

Concern, mistrust of system drives some Blacks to the polls 

By: Ken Coleman

Some Detroit voters told the Advance on Tuesday morning that they were concerned about the U.S. Postal Service reliability and whether their votes would be counted. It helped to drive their resolve to vote in-person.

Stephanie Myree, a 58-year-old Detroit resident, voted at Louis Pasteur Elementary School on the city’s Northwest side.

“I prefer to vote in person because of the shenanigans that were happening [referring to slowdowns in mail delivery,” she said. “So I said, ‘Let me take myself to the poll.’” 

Curtis Carr of Detroit didn’t want to take the chance that his ballot would get lost in the mail. 

“I trust the mail system but there is just too much at stake right now,” the 55-year old Detroit resident said. He voted at Chrysler Elementary School on Detroit’s Lower East side. 

Lloyd Crews, a political science professor at Oakland Community College, was not surprised by the responses from Myree and Carr, both of whom are African American.  

“There has been a mistrust of the government at times,” said Crews, who is Black, said about African Americans. “People want to go through [the in-person] process, no matter how long they have to wait. We feel like we waited for hundreds of years for the right and privilege to vote.” 

3 months ago

9:11 am

Voter traffic was strong at one of Detroit’s perennial high turnout sites Tuesday morning

By: Ken Coleman

Jacqueline Miller of Detroit told the Advance Tuesday morning that she preferred to vote in-person. She did not trust the U.S. mail or the early-voting process. Wearing a protective mask, the 67-year old-arrived at Bethany Lutheran Church on the city’s Northeast side. She was about the 25th person in a line that started forming at 6:45 a.m. in the dark, 15 minutes before the site opened. 

“This is what I wanted to see,” said Miller referring to the long line outside the polling place. 

Ten people ahead of her was 49-year-old Robert Flournoy.  

“This is what I always do,” Flournoy said. “I’m not going to be deterred by negativity. People died before me so I could have this right. I don’t knock anybody who voted early but I’m able-bodied and this is what I do every election.” 

3 months ago

7:57 am

U of M grad student union votes to protest if Trump doesn’t accept election results

By: Susan J. Demas

On Monday, members of the University of Michigan Graduate Employees Organization – AFT Local 3550 “overwhelmingly” voted to participate in a nonviolent protest if President Trump refuses to accept the results of the election, according to a statement.

The union said it’s committed to “a plan of nonviolent action – up to and including participation in a general strike.

U of M grad student union ends strike, but safety concerns still loom

“Our organization is firmly committed to the principles of democracy, which extend far beyond the ballot box. Though these principles are invoked frequently in the United States, they are much more rarely put into practice,” the union said. “We call for every vote cast in this election – both in the state of Michigan and across the country – to be duly counted. Our organization stands firmly in opposition to any attempt to subvert the outcome of the election, be it through blatantly illegal means or through judicial maneuverings.”

In September, the union held a strike to protest U of M’s reopening plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eight Chicago-area unions made a similar pledge for a general strike in response to Trump’s possible election actions, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“Donald Trump wants to steal this election. We won’t let him, and we are prepared to engage in mass non-violent protest — up to and including a general strike of all working people, if necessary — to protect and defend our democratic rights,” the unions said in a joint statement.

3 months ago

7:07 am

Grand Rapids clerk: Make a voting plan before you go to the polls

By: Alexis Stark

On Election Day, Grand Rapids City Clerk Joel Hondorp encourages voters to have a plan before arriving at the polls.

“The first thing voters should know is to visit our election website and the Michigan Voter Information website to find out what they need to bring to the polls, check if they’re registered to vote and see a sample ballot,” Hondorp said.

Absentee ballot drop box | City of Grand Rapids photo

Grand Rapids residents also can find precinct maps, polling locations and voter turnout numbers on the city’s website. Absentee voters may download a digital “I voted” sticker. 

According to Hondorp, the City Clerk’s Office has been preparing for this day since the previous election and election workers are trained to handle various situations that may arise. Anyone who votes in-person is required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. 

“Every hour, our poll workers call in so we can keep track of voter turnout,” Hondorp said. “Absentee numbers will be included on the website and so far the city has received 55,000 absentee ballots, compared to 16,000 in the 2016 election.”

Polling locations are all open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Hondorp advised voters to not be deterred by the lines.

“If you’re in line by 8 p.m., you can still cast your vote,” Hondorp said.  

Last updated:8:00 am