Map: Trump counties less likely to vote absentee in Michigan primary

A record-breaking 1.6 million Michiganders voted remotely in Tuesday’s primary, but enthusiasm wasn’t shared equally: Many counties that went big for President Donald Trump in 2016 were less likely to vote absentee.

Overall, 65 percent of statewide voters cast absentee ballots, according to Secretary of State records provided to Bridge.

More than 70 percent of voters in Ingham, Washtenaw, Kalamazoo, Grand Traverse and Oakland counties all chose to vote by mail. All but Grand Traverse were among the strongest supporters of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.


Areas where voters showed the least interest in absentee voting — fewer than 40 percent of ballots in Osceola, Missaukee, Luce and Hillsdale counties — voted by landslides for the president in 2016. 

That mirrors early indications that Trump’s criticisms of mail-in voting could impact on how Republicans make use of their new voting rights. Bridge reviewed races in Oakland, Macomb and Kent counties after the primary and found that more than 75 percent of Democratic voters chose to vote by mail while only 55 percent of Republicans did.

Some Republican strategists who spoke with Bridge said campaigns should adjust to encourage mail-in voting for November, while others say the gap between absentee and in-person voting won’t matter if Republicans turn out to the polls.

Make no mistake, the trend isn’t absolute. Trump won all but eight of Michigan’s 83 counties in 2016, and some that favored him including Ottawa, Bay, Genesse and Macomb counties had absentee voting rates of at least 66 percent.

The records also showed that counties with higher rates of coronavirus were somewhat more likely to vote absentee. Seven of the eight counties that voted for Clinton were in or near the top quarter of those counties with high rates of coronavirus. Wayne County, for instance, has the second-highest rate of coronavirus in the state and voted more than 68 percent absentee.

Tuesday’s election shattered records for both turnout and absentee voting. Around 2.5 million voters voted (in-person and by mail) in the August primary, surpassing the last record high for an August primary of 2.2 million voters in 2018. 

The 1.6 million absentee votes beat the record of 1.3 million in the 2016 November election. 

The surge of mail-in voting follows reforms approved by voters in 2018, including the right to vote absentee for no reason.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent all 7.7 million registered voters absentee applications earlier this year, arguing the mailing would help educate voters about their new rights amid a public health crisis.

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middle of the mit
Fri, 08/07/2020 - 8:37pm

7.7 million applications and there weren't 10 million votes? Hmm. Something seems off. I was assured by many commenters that there would be more ballots cast than there were applications.

Ken Kolk
Sat, 08/08/2020 - 9:38am

In Primary Election you can only vote in the Political Party’s Election. In Ottawa County only the Republican Party had any contested elections. In the Republican Party in Zeeland we had a choice between a Trumper and a Tea Party Trumper! I voted only on the school mileage issue. But all the people who received a Absentee Ballot in this election will be getting one for the “real” election on Nov 3rd. Last time Trump won by 10,000 votes in Michigan. This time it will be harder for him to pull it off again.

John Connor
Sat, 08/08/2020 - 4:17pm

Hello Genius,
Population as of July 1 2019: 9,986,857
Population 18 years or older (VOTING AGE, GENIUS) as of July 1, 2019: 7,840,567
Based on the ballot numbers, it would appear that EVERY SINGLE PERSON of voting age has registered to vote.
However, we know that in 2014, at least 21.4 percent of people were not registered to vote, and this has not changed.
Therefore, the actual number of ballots sent out in Michigan should have been approximately 5,703,066.
What do you have to say now? I'm sure you'll bury your head in the CNN/FoxNews sand and call this fake news because you didn't hear it from Stretchin' Gretchen.

middle of the mit
Mon, 08/10/2020 - 5:22pm

Population as of July 1 2019: 9,986,857
Population 18 years or older (VOTING AGE, GENIUS) as of July 1, 2019: 7,840,567
actual number of ballots sent out in Michigan should have been approximately 5,703,066.

A record-breaking 1.6 million Michiganders voted remotely
Tuesday’s election shattered records for both turnout and absentee voting. Around 2.5 million voters voted (in-person and by mail) in the August primary,

So, what do I have to say? It seems as though there were only half as many who voted according to YOUR numbers. That is less than a 50% voter participation rate.

I am still wondering where all those false ballots went and why snow birds and dead people didn't flood the polls like we were and have been told they would.

Maybe a genius could tell us why that didn't happen?

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 11:05am

I'll let the OP respond to your silly post (if Bridge doesn't censor it due to the facts it contains)
Your post indicates that you lack middle school math ability.
Please re-read what you posted and then go sulk in a corner with your tail between your legs. Hilarious!

middle of the mit
Wed, 08/12/2020 - 7:56pm

Just so you are aware, you realize MY Original post was bombastic, don't you? In other words I was making fun of conservatives by pushing outrageous numbers.

Now for you and the post that was in response to mine, said there was {{{SO IT DOES APPEAR THAT NEARLY TWO MILLION INVALID BALLOTS HAVE BEEN SENT OUT.}}}

But you see, you all still can not understand the difference between an APPLICATION FOR A BALLOT and a REAL BALLOT! None the less, you offer NO PROOF OF VOTER FRAUD! And you still have to explain why only 1.6 million ballots were sent back.


middle of the mit
Sat, 08/08/2020 - 8:04pm
Wed, 08/12/2020 - 11:06am

Middle of the Mit,
Your posts only reinforce the points of those you are trying to argue against.
It almost appears that you are actually a Russian script, and not an actual poster.

middle of the mit
Wed, 08/12/2020 - 8:04pm

Are you having a hard time with reality? It seems as though you are. I will spell it out for you.
1)Conservatives hate vote by mail
2)Conservatives put whatever things they can into the gears that will gum up the postal service, because they dislike that too.
3)Conservatives then raise the price of mailing in a mail in ballot. and then this just today
4)Post offices remove mail sorting machines

Who is the real bot?

Ken in Zeeland
Sun, 08/09/2020 - 1:38pm

One of the reasons more ballots weren't returned is that in many places didn't have any actual contested elections. Our ballot had only one contested election. It was on the Republican Ballot and was a choice between an extremely conservative candidate and an ultra conservative Tea Party Patriot candidate. We were voting to insure that the non-residential property tax supporting our schools stayed in effect. So I voted as a "Republican" to be able to choose the lesser of two evils. In Ottawa County if you're a Republican and you won the primary you are generally assured that you will be elected so the Republican Primary is actually the election. That being said, unless something changes and the GOP turns against Trump the Crook, I will mark the Absentee Ballot I requested for the General Election by coloring in the Straight Democratic box, and split that ticket to vote for my friend who is the County Clerk seeking re-election. So don't count on traditionally Republican strongholds as being certain to go Republican this year. Some conservative Christians, like me have had enough of the lies, the corruption, militarized police and federal secret police attacking peaceful demonstrators, and nepotism won't be voting Republican. Even some strong Right-to-Lifers will no longer feel that they have to hold their noses and vote for Trump to stop abortion, he and Moscow Mitch have fill the Federal Courts with anti-abortion judges and now the change they want may come. Now they can return to really being "Values Voters" and will vote for candidates who share their values.

middle of the mit
Mon, 08/10/2020 - 6:00pm

Ken and Ken Z,

I understand that there are less votes cast during primary elections, it still doesn't take away from the fact that one party, and one party only was on this and multiple other outlets telling us that there was and is going to be vote by mail fraud. It can be explained away, but the outcome is the same. There was no mass mailing of mail in applications that ended up in mass voter fraud.

I do the same in my county during these elections. Sometimes you have to.

I thought they were being "value voters" by voting for Trump. They keep saying that he says what they are thinking, but then I hear them say they just wish he would stay quiet and not tweet.

It's all so confusing!

Sun, 08/09/2020 - 9:01pm

Approximate number of voting age people based on latest census data: 7.6 million. Oh! Looks like every person registered to vote?
But wait a minute - NUMEROUS articles spanning from this year and going back decades from both the census bureau and independent writers show that despite all efforts to encorage registering, slightly more than 20% of people NEVER register to vote. Last report was around 21.5%...
Therefore... There should have been closer to 5 million ballots apps sent out.
What the heck? Where did these extra 2+ million ballots come from?
So yes, mit, at least half of what you said appears to be correct - It appears that there is potential for 2 million fraudulent votes here. This is definitely news.

middle of the mit
Mon, 08/10/2020 - 5:28pm

No factoids. Just facts. What are you trying to conjure up here? There are more people registering because of motor voter, none the less you are stating that there was voter fraud with this little sentence here {{It appears that there is potential for 2 million fraudulent votes here. This is definitely news.]]] But you offer no proof. Your numbers don't even match up. There were less than 3 million votes cast TOTAL!

Now you are making a case for 2 million of those being fraudulent?

Sat, 08/08/2020 - 9:06am

Yep trump sheeps are following trump orders to spread the virus but them dummy are spreading it to each other!!!

George Hagenauer
Sat, 08/08/2020 - 11:10am

The virus is one variable - another is rural farmers tend to have more flexibility on when they go to vote so can go when the polls are not busy. The big changes from improvements in absentee voting in rural areas will be from increased returns from rural people who drive a long way to work outside the community often in another county and who can't afford to take time off work to vote.

Sat, 08/08/2020 - 11:57am

Nothing is more sacred than our right to elect our government. The Michigan absentee process is fairly well run with one exception. Those wanting an absentee ballot should be the ones requesting it rather than have the SOS mail an absentee request to each registered person. The method of requesting a ballot could be enhanced by several methods such as on-line request, in person request, telephone request, or whatever new method can be implemented as long as it asks for an update on registered address and copy of signature, the same info that is asked to be seen when one votes in person. This would allow some confidence in the fact that the ballot was mailed to the one requesting it.

In no event should a ballot be mailed to anyone, as some states do, without a request form that can undergo scrutiny from officials.

Sat, 08/08/2020 - 4:41pm

Everyone knows that we (Republicans/Conservative Patriots) do not trust the Democrat party with absentee voting. They will cheat any way possible to make President Trump lose. They are still crying about 2016.

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 7:53am

Why has the Trump campaign started pushing absentee voting? Eric Trump was just in Kissimmee Florida yesterday for a campaign stop and said: "In Florida you have an honest system. So vote absentee. Your vote will be counted, it is real"

What makes Florida different than other states?

Sat, 08/08/2020 - 11:17pm

What about evictions in pertaining to this extension? Family's that aren't apart of a mortgage? We are being forced out of our home in less then 8 days! With no where to go! Especially due to the extension!

Sun, 08/09/2020 - 8:11am

Trump counties less likely to vote absentee and more likely to die form the virus that the got wall attending one of trumps hate rallies!!!!