We repeat: Michigan, do NOT mail your absent voter ballot! Drop it off instead.

by

comment
SELFIE
  • Selfie

We've said it once before but it bears repeating: if you were planning to vote by mail using an absentee ballot for the upcoming general election — don't. It's too late to send it by mail.

Your local clerk will not mail you an absentee voter ballot after today (Friday, Oct. 30). And anyway, at this point it's too risky to return it by mail. Due to President Donald Trump's suspiciously timed cuts to U.S. Postal Service (seriously, you're suddenly concerned about the efficiency of the mail system, during a pandemic?!), mail is much, much slower than usual. In fact, according to a report by Sen. Gary Peters (who we think you should vote for, by the way), the Detroit area had the slowest mail delivery rate in the nation in early October. And the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a the Republican-controlled legislature, reversing a decision that would have allowed late-arriving ballots to be counted up to 14 days after Election Day.



In other words, your mail-in ballot would have to be post-marked by Election Day, and the current mail system can't guarantee that.

Fortunately, it's not too late to cast your vote. At this point, your best best is to return your absentee voter ballot in person at a designated drop-off box or at your local clerk or vote in-person on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.



But you might want to just vote early, since officials are warning of the potential for chaos on Election Day. A recent report placed Michigan among five states with the highest risk of violence during and after the election. Another report predicted the U.S. is especially susceptible to violence due to the widening chasm of inequality. To make matters worse, on Tuesday, a Michigan judge struck down Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's directive banning the open carry of guns at polling places on Election Day, and the Trump campaign has called for an "Army of Trump" to watch the polls. Attorney General Dana Nessel has ordered Michigan State Police troopers to help keep the peace at polls.

Due to the increased demand for absentee voter ballots, officials say we're unlikely to see results on Election Day, and are urging people to be patient while they tally every vote. This could also fan the flames of civil unrest, especially if Trump casts doubt on the legitimacy of the process. (He already has.)

So cast your ballot, don't be a dick, and be patient. This could take a while.

More information is available in our voter guide and at Michigan.gov/vote.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.