The state is urging the Michigan Democratic Party to suspend a new program that lets people apply online for absentee ballots, saying would-be voters are being disenfranchised close to the Nov. 4 election. Elections Director Chris Thomas wrote a letter Friday to party Chairman Lon Johnson, saying that the site www.miabsentee.com isn’t ready for a statewide rollout before Election Day. Thomas cited security issues and said that only 72 percent of 197 applications submitted and stored on the political party’s server were actually received by local clerks.
“Our foremost concern is the possible disenfranchisement of voters who attempted to use the miabsentee.com online application and whose applications were not successfully delivered to the appropriate local election official,” Thomas told Johnson. “Your policy of continuing to operate the production site while making changes to it is an ill-advised practice that may create more harm to Michigan voters.”
Johnson told The Associated Press in an email Tuesday night that he and other Democrats “appreciate the Bureau of Elections bringing these issues to our attention, and we have speedily and completely resolved them.”
Johnson said the party considered security on the site sufficient but has moved to increase it in response to the bureau’s comments.