Election officials prepare for safe voting procedures amid COVID-19 

Janice Winfrey, Clerk of the City of Detroit, is preparing an election unlike any other.

The general election is a little more than three months away but the Michigan Primary race is less than two weeks from now and election officials are taking a lot of steps to keep everyone safe.

With the extremely contagious COVID-19 still being spread through Michigan, Winfrey said more people than ever will likely vote by mail with 110,000 Detroit already requesting ballots and 90,000 have been sent out.

"I'm encouraging people to vote,"

Janice Winfrey is the clerk of Detroit- and gave us an inside look at just how Detroit is getting ready for this primary. How many people will vote by absentee?

"We'll probably count 50%," Winfrey said. "

The ballots have to be put into envelopes and sent out by hand. When they're returned they're sorted by new high-speed machines. But they still have to be opened by hand.

The ballots will be opened and counted when the polls open at 7 p.m. on August 4th.

Winfrey said she hopes to have enough workers to count all the absentee ballots. She would not give an estimate as to when those absentee votes will be counted. 

If anyone prefers to go vote in person, she said that will be perfectly safe. Winfrey said precincts will have gloves, masks, thermometers, wipes, and masks.

She said everyone voting will have temperature checks but some churches where the voting was to take place were afraid to host the election so Winfrey had to solve that problem as well.

"We're even doing drive-through voting - where the voter really doesn't even have to get out of the car, other than to put that ballot through the tabulator," she said.

So if you're still unsure about going to a polling place, or you're unsure about the mail because there could be some issues there, there's a solution there.

"Use one of our drop boxes, or drop it off at the vote center, or drop it off here," she said.