Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a formal expansion of voting opportunities for military and overseas voters into law, making it so that ballots received from such individuals up to six days after Election Day are still counted, as long as postmark rules are followed. (You still can’t drop a ballot in the mail after Election Day itself passes.)
The new legislation follows an amendment to the state Constitution that Michigan residents recently approved. Among other provisions covering elections, the amendment established a specific and fundamental right among such voters to see their ballots counted.
As such, the new rules abide by the terms of that amendment, which among other components also restricted the possibility of audits in Michigan after elections. The amendment evidently demands audits only be conducted by election officials rather than outside entities, limiting opportunities for circumstances like the GOP-backed but Cyber Ninjas-led audit of election results from 2020 in Maricopa County, Arizona. The company Cyber Ninjas had no previous experience in auditing elections, and the overall effort was undertaken in line with conspiracy theories about the 2020 race, potentially endangering the security of the data those involved were handling and forcing authorities to replace equipment that was no longer being handled according to rules for its strict supervision and control. The audit was masterminded by specifically state Republicans, and local officials replacing the equipment had to spend what was identified as $2.8 million.
“Michigan’s service members are the best of us,” Whitmer said. “I am proud to sign this legislation expanding absentee voter access to more service members bravely serving around the world. Let’s keep working to boost access to the ballot box and ensure election officials have the tools they need to run Michigan’s elections efficiently and effectively.” Mail-in voting, also known as absentee voting, has been a frequent target of Trump and Republicans agreeing with his conspiracy theories about elections, but there’s still no real-world evidence of the practice’s use for any kind of sweeping fraud in recent United States elections.