Michigan Voting Problems During COVID-19 Are Preventable

Officials must extend deadlines, add voting sites to safeguard election

DETROIT—Michigan State Director for All Voting is Local, Aghogho Edevbie, appeared before the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to highlight some of the problems voters might face in the upcoming November general election. 

“Every election gives our collective society the chance to express its voice,” Edevbie said. “For that voice to be heard, a well-run election is essential. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this harder, but not impossible.”

In his testimony, Edevbie emphasized that elections officials have an obligation to prepare for safe, accessible voting in the COVID-19 pandemic. The testimony offers recommendations, at both the state and local level, to securely adapt to the election changes brought on by the pandemic. Among them: 

  • Local clerks must hire more workers, and promptly mail absentee ballots as requests are received
  • Local clerks should open additional in-person absentee ballot voting locations
  • The state legislature must pass legislation to allow voters the opportunity to cure their signature issues up to seven days after Election Day
  • Local clerks need to make poll worker positions more desirable by increasing pay for workers 
  • Local clerks should communicate voter education information through all available avenues including by mail, phone, e-mail, text, and digital advertisements

Edevbie’s full testimony can be found here.