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Michigan Department of State mailings go potential voters

LANSING — Millions of Michiganders eligible to vote should expect to receive something in the mail from the Michigan Department of State in the next week or so, as Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson continues to work to inform voters ahead of the Nov. 3 general election.

Postcards informing voters how to apply to vote from home are going to all 4.4 million registered active voters who are not on a permanent absent voter application list and have not yet requested an absentee ballot for the November election.

Letters will also be mailed to approximately 700,000 citizens who have a Michigan driver’s license or state ID and are eligible but are not registered to vote in Michigan. These mailers will invite recipients to register to vote by going online or by returning the enclosed card to the Secretary of State. Approximately 130,000 individuals on the mailing list who are marked on the driver file as U.S. citizens and visited the Secretary of State between December 2018 and September 2019 – after Proposal 2018-3 was passed but before automatic voter registration was implemented – will get the opportunity to be automatically registered to vote. These individuals will be registered to vote unless they opt out of registration on the form, similar to how automatic voter registration currently works on driver’s license renewal forms.

“Efforts to confuse and misinform Michigan voters are escalating in volume and frequency as we head into the fall,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “As a result, it is more important than ever that voters receive official, trusted, reliable information from our office to ensure they know their rights and how to exercise them. That’s why as the level of disinformation increases, so will our efforts to protect our voters and the integrity of Michigan’s elections.”

The postcard to eligible but unregistered voters is being sent in coordination with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), which is used by states across the country to ensure the accuracy of their voter registration lists.

“Secretary Benson is following best practices utilized in both red and blue states by contacting eligible but unregistered voters,” said David Becker, who led the creation of ERIC while working at the Pew Charitable Trusts and is now the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research. “Similar mailings are going out this month in Texas, Florida and Georgia, all led by Republican secretaries, and in Arizona and Pennsylvania, led by Democratic secretaries.”

Voter registrations and absentee ballot requests can be submitted now online at Michigan.gov/vote.

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