Tag: expect

New Michigan law lets ballot processing start early, but don’t expect results until Friday of election week

Michigan officials expect record-breaking turnout for the Nov. 3 election and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a few last-minute bills into law to speed the process and ensure every ballot is counted.

On Tuesday, Whitmer signed Senate Bill 757, passed by the House and Senate in September, to allow clerks in cities and townships with at least 25,000 people to start processing absentee ballots Nov. 2. The ballots can’t be tabulated until 7 a.m. on election day, however.

While the move is a “step in the right direction” per Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, it’s not enough, she said. States like Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida allow more time for processing – sometime weeks more, Benson said.

The change won’t significantly alter when the results will be ready, Benson said.

“We still expect that it will be the Friday of election week that we expect every ballot will be tabulated,” Benson said, noting it could be sooner.

This is the first presidential election in Michigan since voters passed a proposal allowing absentee voting without needing a specific reason.

The law also requires clerks to notify absentee voters if their ballot won’t be counted within 48 hours of receiving it – like for a missing signature, for example. This helps make sure every vote is counted, Whitmer said.

Senate Bill 117 was also supposed to be signed Tuesday, but Whitmer said Republican leadership didn’t send her the bill yet – despite it passing through both chambers of the Legislature.

The bill allows military members and their spouses to return ballots electronically through a secure portal if they can’t be returned in person. Benson’s husband served with the military in Afghanistan in 2004 and attempted to vote, she said, but couldn’t because a law like this wasn’t on the books.

“For some reason, the Republican leaders in the Legislature chose not to send me this bill yet,” Whitmer said. “I’m not sure what’s going on there, but this is crucial for our brave folks and their families who serve in the military. Elections are no time to play partisan games.”

More than 2.7 million ballots have been requested in Michigan so far, and 2.6 million of them have been issued to voters. Nearly 400,000 have been filled out and received back.

Here’s a look at which cities have the most requests for ballots, along with how many have been issued and how many have been submitted:

  1. Detroit: 124,400 (108,065 issued, 12,426 received)
  2. Grand Rapids: 51,711 (51,124 issued, 11,633 received)
  3. Ann Arbor: 47,645 (43,827 issued, 3,108 received)
  4. Livonia: 35,722 (35,457 issued, 8,071 received)
  5. Sterling Heights: 34,815 (33,670 issued, 3,836 received)

More than 450 communities have had at least 1,000 people request an absentee ballot so far.

Michigan residents can check their voter registration, register to vote and track the status of their absentee ballot at Michigan.gov/vote.

The state is also launching an advertising effort this week to put ads on social media, the internet, TV and the back of ATM receipts to

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Three theories on government explain what to expect until Nov. 3

The first presidential debate was supposed to be about difficult political, legal, economic and cultural issues. Although President TrumpDonald John TrumpState Department revokes visa of Giuliani-linked Ukrainian ally: report White House Gift Shop selling ‘Trump Defeats COVID’ commemorative coin Biden says he should not have called Trump a clown in first debate MORE succeeded in reducing it to a contest of personalities, these disagreements will continue to rage until Election Day, especially as Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court progresses. Despite their complexity, the issues should be much easier to navigate once we understand the three theories of government that ultimately drive them. 

The first — conservatism — is about preserving our deepest democratic values. These values include the two main categories of “assets” in our Constitution: our individual rights to life, liberty and property, and the separation of powers among the three branches of government. Conservatives are not necessarily opposed to social, political or legal reforms per se. They just insist that these reforms be incremental and neither disrupt nor erode our constitutional order. 

Second is libertarianism, the theory that government is inherently oppressive, individual liberty is the highest good and, therefore “that government is best which governs least.” Yes, we still need a police force and military to do what individuals alone cannot: protect us collectively from internal threats (crimes) and external threats (invasion and terrorism). But that’s about it. We can and should do everything else by ourselves, without relying on the government.  

Third is progressivism (also known as liberalism or socialism). Progressives view government as the best possible institution to promote and protect the rights and interests of all the people it represents. These rights and interests include a decent standard of living, affordable health care, affordable housing, quality education, and equal treatment under the law. 

Suppose, then, that “Anne,” a single, 30 year-old Black mother of two young children, works two jobs, both of which pay federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour), and contracts pneumonia. What role, if any, should the government play here? 

The progressive will say three things. First, the government should force Anne’s employers to pay her much higher wages so that she can afford all the necessities and a reasonable amount of the luxuries that modern Americans typically enjoy. Second, neither Anne’s race nor her relatively low income should make her less of a priority than any other American; her value not just as an employee and as a mother, but also as a human being, is equal to that of every other human being. Third, the government should therefore help Anne receive and pay for the medical treatment she needs to recover. 

Though they may not always acknowledge it, conservatives and libertarians generally disagree with all three points. For them, life is unfair and it is simply not the job of government to make life fair — or fairer. But, as it turns out, this “tough-luck” attitude is actually inconsistent with the theory of conservatism. Once again, conservatives’

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