Wednesday, November 4, 2020

About 100,000 ballots left to count in razor-thin presidential election in Michigan

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2020 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge Officials are still counting ballots at Detroit's TCF Center, which has been converted into a processing center for the many absentee ballots that have been cast in the 2020 general election. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Officials are still counting ballots at Detroit's TCF Center, which has been converted into a processing center for the many absentee ballots that have been cast in the 2020 general election.

Michigan election officials still have about 100,000 ballots to count in what has turned out to be a very close presidential race, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Wednesday afternoon.

A vast majority of the outstanding ballots are absentee and in Democratic-leaning leaning cities, including Detroit, Flint, and Kalamazoo. Some of the uncounted ballots are in Grand Rapids, which voted in favor of Trump in 2016.

Benson expects all of the votes to be counted within the next 24 hours, but it could take until Friday before the ballots are certified.

With about 90% of the precincts reported Wednesday afternoon, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was leading President Donald Trump in Michigan 49.5% to 48.9. With a roughly 30,000-vote lead, it would be difficult for Trump to close the gap.

Sen. Gary Peters is narrowly trailing Republican John James in a race that could determine whether Democrats gain control of the U.S. Senate.

“We realize the eyes around the nation are on Michigan right now,” Benson said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

More than 5 million people voted in the election in Michigan, a record that surpasses the one set in the 2008 contest that sent Barack Obama to the White House.

An astounding two-thirds of the votes cast were absentee.

In another bright spot for Michigan, 28,000 Michigan residents, primarily young ones, registered to vote on Election Day.

Benson, an attorney who previously specialized in election law, dismissed Trump’s conspiracy theories about election fraud in Michigan, saying the ballots have been counted “methodically and securely” in the presence of bipartisan poll watchers.

“We have been very transparent in the whole process,” Benson said, encouraging people to disregard misinformation on social media. “I am very aware of the legality of our process,” Benson added.

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