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Michigan electorate comes through with high voter turnout

Regardless of the outcome, one thing is certain about Michigan residents — we know how to make our voices heard, even in the face of a pandemic.

More than 5.5 million people voted in Michigan’s presidential election — the most ever and the highest percentage of voting-age residents to cast a ballot in 60 years.

The number of voters — in a pandemic — smashed the previous record of 5 million in 2008. About 71% of those age 18 and older voted. The only general election in the past 72 years with a larger portion was 1960.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said it was “particularly inspiring and encouraging” that more than 28,000 people took advantage of a new option and registered and voted on Election Day. Absentee voting — now available to all voters under a 2018 constitutional amendment — surged, to nearly 3.5 million ballots during the virus outbreak.

“I feel immense gratitude for the 1,500 local clerks and thousands of election workers and poll workers in the 83 counties, clerks who really just rose to every single challenge and ensured we had a smooth process,” Benson told The Associated Press. “There were certainly a lot of eyes on the process in every absentee counting board all across our state. The vast majority of that process went incredibly smoothly with folks on both sides of the aisle really reflecting on how smooth and by the book the process was.”

Susan B. Anthony once said, “Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.” Well, Michiganders from all walks of life have certainly stepped up. Again, no matter what the outcome of this election is, we should all be proud that so many of us stood up and used our power as American citizens.

— The Mining Journal

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