With less than two months until the presidential election, officials in crucial swing states are reporting a record number of voters have requested absentee ballots. In Michigan, over two million voters have filed a request to receive an absentee ballot.
"That is more than has ever been requested in any Michigan election," Jake Rollow, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of State, said, according to ABC News. "Not just at the eight-week mark, but the final number in any election."
In Ohio, the state has already received one million requests, and it happened one month faster than it did in 2016.
"While we're making sure voters will be able to safely vote in person, this incredible demand for absentee voting speaks to the confidence Ohioans have in the system," Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a statement. "It's strong. It's secure. And our county boards of elections are prepared."
Democratic voters are leading the surge in absentee ballot requests. In Florida, 47.5% of requests for ballots have come from Democrats, while 32% came from registered Republicans. In Philadelphia and North Carolina, officials received three times as many requests from Democrats versus Republicans. In Ohio, half of the requests have come from Democrats.
In Wisconsin, the number of Democrats and Republicans that have requested ballots is about equal, while Michigan is currently the only swing state where Republican requests have outnumbered Democratic requests.
Officials can expect to receive more requests for absentee ballots as the election nears because many voters are wary about voting in person due to the coronavirus pandemic. 34 states allow absentee ballots for all voters, while seven states require a reason to request one. The coronavirus pandemic is not considered a valid reason. Nine states and Washington, D.C., will mail ballots directly to all voters this year.
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