More Detroit voters will cast an absentee ballot in 2020 than any previous election. (Ralph Jones photo)

Michigan’s Secretary of State’s office is encouraging absentee voters to drop their ballots at their local city clerk’s office, not in the mail.

The SOS Office has recommended voters leave their completed ballots at city clerk offices since Oct. 19. Michiganders who plan to vote are encouraged to do so as soon as possible to give clerks enough time to process ballots, according to the SOS Office. Detroit has added 30 drop box locations to its 23 satellite voting centers, all of which are open seven days a week. Amid mail delays in southeast Michigan, it is unclear whether the postal service will be able to deliver every absentee ballot in time. More than  3.1 million Michiganders have requested absentee ballots with 2.2 million having returned them already. As of Oct. 26, 169,341 Detroiters requested absentee ballots and 102,944 Detroit voters have already turned them in, according to the Michigan Secretary of State.

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The U.S. Postal Service did not respond to requests for comment.

Detroiters who have submitted their absentee ballot can check the city’s website to see if their ballot has been received. The Detroit City Clerk’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a news conference Tuesday, Jake Rollow of the Secretary of State’s office said additional support has been provided to Detroit’s city clerk to help keep pace with the deluge of absentee ballot applications.

“They weren’t keeping up with the pace at which [absentee] applications were coming in,” he said.

Rollow said Detroit’s city clerk has hired additional employees and that he’s been told that they are working “seven days a week for the past few weeks.”

Voters who have requested and submitted an absentee ballot but would rather vote in-person can still do so. On Election Day, those who have already voted should check to see if the clerk has received your ballot and if so, “spoil” it and request a provisional ballot instead.

Instead of using mail, drop your absentee ballot at the city clerk’s office or a drop box, state election officials encourage.

Olivia Lewis is a reporter for BridgeDetroit. She was formerly a reporter for the Battle Creek Enquirer and the Indianapolis Star. She has also worked in philanthropy for the Kresge Foundation, the Council...

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