CLAIM: Michigan sent absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of primaries and the general election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue secretary of state.
THE FACTS: Michigan mailed applications for ballots to voters, not the ballots themselves.
President Donald Trump, a Republican, on Wednesday falsely claimed on Facebook and Twitter that Michigan’s secretary of state mailed ballots to millions of voters in the state. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that the state mailed absentee ballot applications to 7.7 million registered voters ahead of Michigan’s August primary and November election. Benson said mailing the applications cost the state $4.5 million, which was covered with funds from the federal coronavirus relief package.
Traditionally, Michigan voters have had to ask their local clerk for an absentee ballot. Benson’s announcement was criticized by some state Republicans who argued that local clerks should handle the requests and the money would have been better spent on protective equipment for polling places and election workers and on machines to more quickly process surging absentee ballots. In 2018, Michigan voters approved a statewide ballot initiative that eased election restrictions, including allowing voters to request an absentee ballot without reason.