The presidential vote count in Michigan this November could take a week, the Midwestern swing state's senior election official has said.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the Democrat-run state's third most senior official, said the expected high number of mail-in votes could take that long to verify and tally.
“We should be prepared for this to be closer to an Election Week, as opposed to an Election Day”, Benson told Sunday's edition of NBC's Meet the Press. "The bottom line is, we're not going to have the full results and counting of all of our ballots on election night".
Benson insisted she was "Laser focused on accuracy", adding: "If it takes a few extra days to ensure we have a full and accurate counting of the results of every race, that's what it's going to take".
"With that said, we're increasing tabulators, we're increasing capacity to more efficiently and securely have those ballots".
— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) September 6, 2020
Republican President Donald Trump won Michigan, part of the northern Midwest's industrialised "rustbelt", in the 2016 election by a margin of just 10,700 votes over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. The state backed Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Eight US states and the District of Columbia have announced they are sending out mail-in ballots to all registered voters to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at polling stations on 3 November. Another 34 will allow all citizens to apply to vote by mail if they wish.
But Trump and other Republicans have claimed that the prospect of up to 80 million postal votes is a recipe for ballot fraud.