Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned on Wednesday that it could take “a few days” to determine the winner of the battleground state’s electoral votes for president.
Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson blamed the potential delay on an influx of absentee ballots, a method of voting that they have been pushing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
While Whitmer told reporters that it “may take a few days to know who the winners are,” Benson predicted it could be as late as Friday, as it “will take time to tabulate absentee ballots.”
It is not clear why there could be such a delay, since an appeals court ruled ballots received after 8:00 p.m. cannot be counted. Breitbart News was the first to raise its virtual hand to get more details during an online press conference today but was not called upon.
Breitbart News sought clarification from Benson’s office, and Director of Media Relations Tracy Wimmer said:
We’ve already received a record-breaking number of requests and returns (2.4 million returned as of this morning), and in order to accurately and securely process that volume it takes time. It took about 36 hours following our statewide August primary to tabulate the then-record breaking number of 1.6 million absentee ballots cast, and we are estimating we will have approximately twice as many absentee ballots—3 million—so therefore it would take approximately twice as long (roughly 80 hours, or until about Friday) to tabulate them all following appropriate procedure (identity verification process and having a bipartisan pair of election workers process and tabulate the ballot).
A Michigan Republican Party-appointed ballot counting observer told The Kyle Olson Show that the August primary election absentee tabulation in Detroit was a disaster because there were not enough workers to handle the amount of ballots.
Bob Cushman said he watched an estimated 10,000-20,000 unverified ballots be fed into machines after 2:00 a.m. because workers just wanted to leave.
In an affidavit, Cushman recounted several counting tables “had opened ballots with no poll book” to check to see if the individual was authorized to cast that ballot.
That is significant, he said, because the poll book is used to ensure “that name is someone that’s a qualified, real voter.”
Breitbart News asked Benson’s office if those mistakes would be remedied in time for ballot counting next week, and Jake Rollow, director of communications, responded, “Your question about Detroit should be directed to the Detroit clerk’s office. The Michigan Department of State and Bureau of Elections have provided them significant support since August that includes staff training, election worker referral, and systems review to implement best practices when processing and counting ballots.”
Additionally on Wednesday, Whitmer ordered media outlets not to declare winners until the state government weighs in.
Donald Trump won Michigan in 2016 by 10,704 votes.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube or download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.