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Michigan Senate GOP looks to amend bill that would close absentee ballot drop boxes early

If amended, the bill would close absentee ballot drop boxes at 5:00 p.m. on election day.
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Senate republicans continue to work on election reform legislation this week. They want clerks to begin counting some ballots before the polls close.

Senator Ed McBroom wants to close absentee ballot drop boxes three hours early on election day. He says that deadline would give clerks extra time to count the votes.

“I and many others do believe that the security of the ballots is better maintained if they’re also tabulated earlier, because then they’re counted and they’re put into the box and locked and sealed in there,” said McBroom.

If amended, the measure would close absentee ballot drop boxes at 5:00 p.m. on election day, relaxing the original bill which would close drop boxes at 5:00 p.m. on the eve of the election.

McBroom is the majority vice chair of the Senate Elections Committee. The republican says clerks from the Upper Peninsula have expressed interest in early counting, although they have concerns about paying early workers.

“Many of them want this pre-processing option,” McBroom said. “There are many who also feel that the security of earlier counting is great, but how we’re going to pay for it becomes that problem.”

On the other side of the aisle, State Senator Jeremy Moss says democrats have been pushing for early counting from the beginning. However, he says the GOP’S three-hour window is not the solution.

“It’s not rooted in any science or data or metrics,” said Moss. “If you are allowed to go into your voting precinct and both of those ways you can vote until 8:00 p.m., you should have every access to utilize a safe and secure drop box until 8:00 p.m.”

The issue is still in committee, as it is part of a 39-measure package. Senator McBroom says a bipartisan decision needs to be made before the bill is amended.

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