Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told CNN Tuesday she anticipates the state’s votes will be tallied earlier than previously anticipated. 

“What we’ve seen is such high efficiency and so little problems that I now think we’ll clearly get results much sooner,” Benson told CNN reporter Miguel Marquez. “We anticipate a mix of both in-person voting results and absentee voting results will be part of the results, the first results, you hear out of Michigan.”

According to CNN, Benson said on Tuesday she “expects cities and counties statewide will report results at about the same time meaning a so-called ‘red mirage’ may not happen in Michigan.”

However, spokesperson Kelly Rossman-McKinney called CNN’s characterization overenthusiastic. In a tweet Tuesday night, she wrote that the outlet “was a little too excited about the story.” She noted that Benson “told the reporter there might be SOME counts completed. Definitely not ALL.”

“Despite @CNN’s story, Michigan votes will NOT all be counted tonight,” Rossman-McKinney wrote in another tweet.

In a statement to The Michigan Daily, Rossman-McKinney said Benson was misquoted.

When contacted for clarification, Tracy Wimmer, director of media relations for the Secretary of State’s Office, said it is unlikely that all ballots will be counted tonight.

While there has been an incredible number returned, we know that the thousands of clerks and poll workers processing and tabulating these ballots have been hard at work across the state today,” Wimmer said. “While that may enable certain jurisdictions to complete their counts later this evening or during the early morning hours tomorrow, we still do not believe we will have full unofficial results tonight, as we have been consistently saying for weeks.”

State and local officials have been asking residents to temper their expectations, reminding people that tallying mail-in ballots will be time-intensive

At a Monday press conference, Benson warned that it could take several days to count the state’s votes.

“Some jurisdictions may report their full unofficial results sooner and that’s great,” Benson said. “We welcome that, and from the moment the polls closed until the moment that full unofficial statewide tabulation is complete, we will continue to update all of you and the public and the nation as to where we are in the process.” 

She also pointed out that Tuesday’s election will not differ significantly from other years if results take a while.

“To ensure every ballot is counted accurately, that takes time,” Benson said. “In Michigan, our election workers count absentee ballots in pairs, one Republican and one Democrat, to ensure there’s no political bias and that every ballot is counted fairly. This takes time, it always has.”

In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, Benson said that over 92% of all Michigan absentee ballots were returned four hours before the 8 p.m. deadline to drop them off, adding that absentee counting is going “smoothly & very efficiently.”

“Precincts are islands of calm, welcoming a steady stream of voters throughout the day,” Benson wrote.

In a follow-up tweet, Benson said that 100,000 of 170,000 absentee ballots in Detroit were already counted and that more than 18,000 eligible citizens registered and voted Tuesday, with the vast majority of those 18,000 being from Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit.

Jake Rollow, another spokesperson for the Secretary of State, told CNN that Michigan could get up to 25,000 to 30,000 same-day registrants.

Daily News Editors Leah Graham and Liat Weinstein can be reached at leahgra@umich.edu and weinsl@umich.edu. Daily Staff Reporter Iulia Dobrin can be reached at idobrin@umich.edu.

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