4/1/2020 News Update - Partial Release of Security/Post-Election Audits; April 21 Filing Deadline; Executive Order 2020-21 and Elections; and more

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April 1, 2020


Release of Security and March 10 Post-Election Audits

In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders 2020-21 (“Stay home, stay safe”) and 2020-22 (Extending March 10, 2020 canvassing deadlines, including extension of the state canvass to April 30), the state canvass of the March 10, 2020 presidential primary has not yet been completed. Because this canvass isn’t complete, security of the election materials from the Presidential Primary has not yet been released.

However, for jurisdictions having May 5, 2020 election only, security of materials is released as outlined in our release of security memo. If you are not having a May election, security won’t be released until after the canvass is complete.

As of now, no state and county procedure audits have been scheduled, and none will be conducted until further notice. As circumstances change, we will provide further updates on post-March audit procedures. The Bureau is evaluating the possibility of a pilot Risk Limiting Audit (RLA) of the presidential primary. Unlike procedure audits, pilot RLAs can be completed without multiple people having to interact in person. If it is feasible to conduct this pilot RLA remotely, we will provide further details and instruction.

April 21, 2020 Filing Deadline

Many candidates and clerks have asked about the ability to circulate and file petitions to qualify to appear on the August 4, 2020 primary ballot, with the filing deadline of April 21, 2020, approaching. As of now, this deadline remains in place. Secretary Benson continues to discuss the issue with the Governor’s office and the Legislature. We will keep you updated if there are any changes to the deadline or requirements.

Election News

May 5, 2020 Election

Under Executive Order 2020-27, the May 5 election will be conducted primarily by mail. All voters will get absent voter ballot applications (with postage prepaid return envelopes) and ballot return envelopes will also have postage prepaid. Clerks will not be establishing traditional precinct-based polling places for the May 5 election. Voting will be by mail, with the exception that, on Election Day, clerks make one location per jurisdiction available to allow voters, including voters with disabilities who are inhibited from voting an absent voter ballot remotely, to receive and submit their ballots. All in-person registration and ballot issuance is to be conducted subject to limitations on public gathering and social distancing. The full executive order is available here:


Although clerks will not need to hire precinct inspectors, some in-person staffing will be necessary. To assist clerks who are having difficulty recruiting workers or who are unable to work due to health issues, the Secretary of State has launched a statewide election worker recruitment effort. The recruitment website, along with instructions for distributing the information, can be found here: https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_11976_98803---,00.html.  

The Bureau has also heard from clerks and election staff who do not have May 5 elections but are willing to assist other jurisdictions that do. If you are willing to assist another jurisdiction, please contact us at elections@michigan.gov.

Clerks with May 5 elections will continue to receive separate communications on May 5.

Residency Verification Data for the March 10, 2020 Presidential Primary

The Data Analytics Team has been gathering statistics on a variety of data from the March 10 presidential primary. This communication focuses on the registrations processed during the 14-day period and on Election Day.

As you review this data, we hope that it helps you to understand when the highest in-person registrations occur so that you can staff and plan accordingly for future elections. We’ll continue to provide you with additional data communications for the March 10 presidential primary in the coming weeks.

Residency Verification 14-day Window

  • 21,564 total registrations were processed during the 14-day window
    • 14,271 of these voters (66%) were registering for the first time in Michigan

Residency Verification on Election Day

  • 13,046 of these voters (60%) registered on Election Day
    • There were 8,891 new voters registered on Election Day, representing 66% of the total Registration Verification registrations

Table of Contents

  • Release of Security and March 10 Post-Election Audits
  • April 21, 2020 Filing Deadline
  • Executive Order 2020-21 and Elections
  • Presidential Primary Reimbursement
  • May 5, 2020 Election
  • QVF Chrome Browser
  • More

Executive Order 2020-21 and Elections

Executive Order 2020-21 directs “residents to remain at home or in their place of residence to the maximum extent feasible.” Necessary government activities, including “activities necessary to manage and oversee elections” are to continue. However, the executive order still requires election work to be done remotely as much as possible and, when in person, consistently with the social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons.

Election work is also designated as critical infrastructure by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. You can read more about CISA’s critical infrastructure designations here:



Presidential Primary Reimbursement

The presidential primary reimbursement county and city/township claim forms are available in eLearning. We have provided reimbursement guidelines and worksheets for county and local clerks to help you calculate totals for each expense type. We recommend that you print the worksheet first and then use those section totals for entry into the online form. You must type your information in the claim form in one session. There is no ability to save and edit the form later. If you need to make corrections to a submitted form, you will need to complete a new form and check the “Changes to a Previous Claim” box in the County Information section.

All claimed expenses must be attributable to the March 10, 2020 presidential primary. Additional expenses attributable to any local question can’t be claimed – for example, the cost of the local proposal-only ballot.

In order to be reimbursed, we must receive your online claim form by June 8, 2020.



QVF Chrome browser

Attention all QVF Users! We are pleased to announce that, after extensive testing, QVF can now officially be used with Chrome. Previously, we were only able to recommend Internet Explorer 11. Many users have been using Chrome for some time but we wanted to thoroughly test this before recommending it for all users.

Chrome is just another browser option to choose from when accessing QVF and some users have even stated that it is a better option for them. Chrome will also be the necessary browser option when using multifactor authentication with the Yubikey, although it will not be required for the smart phone option.


QVF Software Release

The QVF Software Release for March 27 is as follows:

User Passwords. A new password indicator will calculate and display the password strength and provide users with a visual showing the strength with tips on password criteria.

AV Details. Added surrender as an option in AV Details when voter surrenders their ballot to accurately record that option.

EPB Import. Provide details about the EPB Import in Import History Grid.

EPB Reports. Moved all EPB Reports in QVF under the EPB Reports heading.

Ballot Administration. Able to print precinct delegate addresses out of Ballot Administration now.

Voter Registration. Residency verification changes will now appear in Change History.


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