Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced on Tuesday that the state government is sending all registered Michigan voters applications to mail in their ballots as a safety measure against COVID-19.
“By mailing applications, we have ensured that no Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” Benson said in a statement. “Voting by mail is easy, convenient, safe, and secure, and every voter in Michigan has the right to do it.”
The official pointed to how voter turnout doubled during the local elections on May 5 after all voters received absentee ballots under Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) orders.
“We know from the elections that took place this month that during the pandemic Michiganders want to safely vote,” Benson said.
The application is also available for download on the government’s site.
With in-person voting posing major risks of spreading COVID-19 at oft-crowded poll sites, lawmakers have taken steps to establish a vote-by-mail system as a safer alternative.
Some Republicans have pushed back against the efforts, claiming that mail-in voting leads to election fraud, a claim election experts dispute. Additionally, the five states that already have all-mail voting systems (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah) have not reported any increase in voter fraud.
Regardless, President Donald Trump has loudly denounced voting by mail, even though he does it himself, saying that it “doesn’t work out well for Republicans” and falsely claimed the voting method is “corrupt.” He was furious when California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued an executive order to send mail-in ballots to all voters in his state over a week ago.
“These votes must not count. SCAM!” Trump tweeted.