Mail-in ballot requests increase by 350%: Michigan secretary of state

Jocelyn Benson talks voter suppression and advises people to vote early.
4:48 | 10/01/20

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Transcript for Mail-in ballot requests increase by 350%: Michigan secretary of state
As we get closer to the presidential election, some key battle ground states taking unprecedented steps to give voters the chance to cast their ballots. In Michigan early voting is already under way. Residents can cast their ballots early without needing any reason to do so. They're doing so in record numbers. Those voters responding to the call with at least 3 million michiganders casting their ballots early. Let's bring in the secretary of state of Michigan, Joslin brynson. We know there's a spike in interest of voting by mail. How big is that increase compared to four years ago? Vote by mail requests are up 350% from 2016 where just about 700,000 in 2016 requested it, now we're at 2.5 million citizens requesting to have their ballots sent to them so they can vote at home. We're on track to have 60 or 70% of our electorate to vote by mail this fall. There's a battle in your courts over when those ballots can be received by. How concerned are you about that? What should voters know? They need to make a plan to vote early. We're asking everyone if you're going to return your ballot through the mail, do it two weeks before election day. If it gets closer than that we're asking voters to use the 1,000 local drop-boxes we installed across the state of Michigan or drop it off in person at their clerk's office. They can track their ballot to confirm its been received. We don't want anyone to be disin franchised because of delays with the postal service. Talk about delays, but also your state's attorney general is asking people if you see anything out there that looks like intimidation or aggression or harassment to report it to the ag's office. Do you have a plan there in Michigan to proactively combat any type of voter suppression or issues you might see at the polls? Yes. We've done a couple things. We've set up an email misinformation at michigan.gov for citizens to send credible allegations to us. We have a proactive effort throughout the state to respond to issues. We've set up a website where citizens can get trusted accurate information about the election. Your state was front and center last time around in a very close race there. It might be close again. Our partners at fivethiryeight showing that right now Biden is about 50%, trump a little over 43%. That number probably going to go up and down until election day. With Michigan playing such a critical role, all eyes on you. Of course a lot of eyes in Michigan are on what we saw this week in that debate. Do you get any kind of sense of the mood of Michigan's critical voters after seeing the display we saw this week? I have seen enormous enthusiasm from voters from both sides of the aisle planning to vote early. That's reflected in the numbers. We're on track to have 5 million citizens vote this year in Michigan. That's more than ever in the history of our state's elections. That voter enthusiasm is high. Voters are engaged and talking about the elections. They want to vote. They want their voice to be heard. They're paying attention to what the candidates say. Secretary Benson, T.J. And I had a little friendly wager of last weekend's S.E.C. Game. His razor backs played my Georgia bulldogs. I won just for the record. We talked to the Ohio secretary of state, he told us you two have a friendly wager going on. He said it's over voter participation. The big question is are you ready to sing the Ohio state fight song and don the scarlet and gray or are you winning that bet? I mean, he can extrapolate all he wants. The bottom line is Michigan is going to beat Ohio in voter turn out this year. When they do, the secretary of state of Ohio, my good friend, will have to sing the Michigan fight song at the michigan/ohio state game this December. At the game. Extra salt to rub in the wound. I love it. We want to thank you for your time. Secretary Benson, we appreciate it. We know you have a lot of things to do. We appreciate you making time for us. Thank you, always a pleasure. That's some good trash talk when you say he can extrapolate all he wants. That's some high-end trash talk. Stay with us folks.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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