Johnson urges governor to move May election in wake of extended ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order

LANSING, Mich. — After the governor issued a new executive order on Thursday extending her previous “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through April 30, Sen. Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, issued the following statement:

“It’s alarming to me that the governor has now extended her stay-at-home order until April 30 to protect the public, but we are still looking at having elections on May 5, only a few days later than when the governor has said we may be at or near our peak. We need to protect the safety of workers and voters. There is no reason these May ballot questions can’t be combined with the August ballot.

“Even if you encourage absentee voting, when you consolidate down to one or only a few precincts there are still long lines and lots of people congregating. That’s what we saw in Wisconsin. And even if people do vote absentee, election workers still need to process those ballots in absentee counting boards in an assembly-line style, and that puts them at great risk.

“At least 16 other states have delayed their elections. Proceeding with the current plan for scheduled May elections may contribute to additional transmission, serious illness, and death.

“Local clerks are having trouble finding election workers and many of them are senior citizens, who are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. They also can’t find personal protective equipment, which right now should be prioritized for health care workers and first responders. I once again urge the governor to consolidate scheduled May elections with the August statewide primary.”

On Thursday, Johnson sent a letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson urging her to support moving the May election. She previously sent a letter to the governor requesting the move.

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