Millions in Federal Funds Being Used to Facilitate Mail-In Voting

The state of Michigan is spending $1.4 million to send postcards to 4.4 million active registered voters who are not already receiving absentee ballots. The postcard is a reminder of the right to vote from home in the November election. The postcards will be mailed between August 20 and September 20. Clerks can start mailing out ballots on September 24.

The Bureau of Elections has allocated $5.5 million of federal CARES act money toward reimbursing jurisdictions for postage and other expenses. There are also matching funds for ballot tabulators and high-speed scanners for some jurisdictions. $11.2 million of federal funding has already been spent on elections this year.

The mail in effort relies heavily on the Postal Service delivering on time. Many campaign materials for the August election arrived long after the polls were closed and inefficiencies with USPS have been part of a national conversation. 

To avoid relying on the postal service, absentee ballots can be hand delivered to local clerks until the polls close on election day. Some jurisdictions have dedicated ballot boxes.

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland