Rabhi Proposes Counting All Ballots Mailed by Election Day

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
  • Current law discards otherwise valid ballots delayed in the mail
  • Bill would require counting of ballots mailed on or before election day if received within 6 days of the election
  • Voting by mail has become much more important to Michigan voters due to public health concerns and no-reason absentee voting

LANSING, Mich., — State Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) has introduced a bill to make absent voter ballots valid if they are mailed on or before election day, ensuring that Michiganders are not disenfranchised due to postal delays. House Bill 5807 was introduced Tuesday with 12 co-sponsors.

“No one should lose their right to vote because of delivery delays beyond their control,” Rep. Rabhi said. “Voting by mail has always been important for voters who face barriers to in-person voting, but now it is crucial to the survival of our representative democracy.”

“I won my first election for Washtenaw County Commissioner by only two votes,” Rep. Rabhi added. “I will never forget that each and every voter matters.”

Seventeen other states allow ballots received after election day to be counted. However, voters in the rest of the country have been disenfranchised for years by delivery delays which have only become more common due to the current pandemic. The Michigan Secretary of State reported that 99 percent of voters in the May election voted absentee ballots amid public health concerns. The passage of Proposal 3 removed the requirement for voters to provide a pre-approved reason for requesting an absent voter ballot.

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