Some Michigan voters reported they did not receive their ballot in the mail as the state votes today in its primary contest.
State officials reassured those voters they can still vote in person in Tuesday's contest but the snafu came amid concerns about how the post office will handle the record numbers of mail-in ballots expected this election year and amid criticism from President Donald Trump of the system.
Michigan will be a crucial state in determining whether Trump or Joe Biden wins the White House.
And all eyes will be focused there to see how it handles the influx of mail-in votes as a test case for the general election. November's contest expects to see unprecedented levels of mail-in ballots as voters use that option to avoid long lines at polling places amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Some Michigan voters reported they did not receive their ballot in the mail as the state votes today in its primary contest leading to concerns about what could happen in November election
The post office has suffered mail delays, which workers say is because of policies put in place by President Trump's new post master general
For today's primary, Michigan officials are advising voters to drop off ballots they haven't mailed by Tuesday at their local drop-off location. The state requires ballots to be at the county clerk's office by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.
Nearly 2 million people in Michigan requested absentee ballots to vote in the state and congressional primary contests and around 1.28 million people have already returned those ballots, according to the Secretary of State's office.
Around 500,000 people requested absentee ballots in the 2016 primary. Michigan expanded its absentee voting option this year - allowing anyone to request one for any reason - to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The state has more than 92,000 infections and more than 6,400 people have died.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said she expects results to take time because state law prevents officials from starting to count ballots until 7 am on Election Day.
'This means in a year where a record number of people will vote by mail, clerks can't begin counting ballots until the morning of election day,' she said last week. 'We are asking for patience. We are alongside other states preparing people not to get results upon the closing of election night.'
She also expects up to 3 million people to request mail-in ballots for the November general election. At least 77 per cent of voters across the nation in November will be able to vote by mail, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.
President Trump has repeatedly railed against mail-in voting - falsely claiming it leads to voter fraud - and reports of delays in post office deliveries have sparked fears millions of voters could be disenfranchised this November.
Trump told Axios the election could be delayed by its unprecedented scale.
'You know, you could have a case where this election won't be decided on the evening of November 3. This election could be decided two months later.' Trump said in an interview that aired Monday on HBO.
On Monday, the president railed against mail-in voting on twitter and at his press conference, pushing conspiracy theories about the process, demanding New York rerun a June congressional primary that still doesn't have a result and charging the post office is not ready to handle the millions of ballots that will come through its system.
'There's never been a push like this for mail-in ballots,' the president said in criticism but he did not address the concerns that long lines at voting booths could spread the coronavirus.
President Trump has been a repeat critic of mail-in voting and told Axios that it could lead to a two month delay in knowing the election results
A New York Congressional primary contest between Representative Carolyn Maloney and challenger Suraj Patel remains undecided six weeks later
He noted New York's Democratic primary contest - held on June 23 - between Representative Carolyn Maloney and challenger Suraj Patel remains undecided. He called on the state to 'rerun that race.'
'If you look at the New York congressional race which is a disaster, it's been a total disaster. They are six weeks into it now and they have no clue what's going on, and I think I can say right here and now, you have to rerun that race because it's a mess. Nobody knows what's happening with the ballots or the lost ballots and the fraudulent ballots I guess. I think you probably have to take the Carolyn Maloney race and run it over again. This is a small race with literally thousands of people, small thousands and it's all messed up,' he said.
Patel trails Maloney by some 3,700 votes, though more than 12,000 ballots have been disqualified, including about 1,200 that were missing postmarks, he told The New York Times.
The state board of elections in New York said they had several workers stricken with the coronavirus and that put them behind in their counting. Plus turnout was more than anticipated. In New York City alone, more than 10 times the number of absentee ballots received in any other recent election came in.
Trump also repeated his charge that states that are going to mail-in voting are using the pandemic to steal the election.
'They are using covid to try to get the mail-in ballots,' he said.
Cages loaded with ballots in United Postal Service bins rest behind a worker at a Board of Elections facility in New York Wednesday
Trump claimed the U.S. Postal System will not be able to handle the millions of mail-in ballots that will go through its system for the general election
The president also charged the post office would not be ready to handle the millions of ballots expected to go through the mail system this November.
'I don't think the post office has prepared for a thing like this,' he said.
Some state election officials have expressed similar concerns about the post office but postal workers charge that changes made by the new post master general - a large Republican contributor to Trump who was appointed by the president - have led to delays in the mail system.
But President Trump claimed it was the fault of online retailers like Amazon were contributing to the problem because they use the post office to make their delivers. Many online companies use a variety of delivery services - including the post office, FedEx, and UPS - to make deliveries.
'How can the post office be expected to handle -- they have regular mailing and then now on top of that, they have the internet where you have Amazon and these companies doing all the buying instead of going to a department store, they go by through mail so you have massive numbers of purchases now going through the post office, purchases of items and gifts, and that's a tremendous strain on the post office,' he complained during his press conference at the White House on Monday.
Trump added the Republican Party would be suing in Nevada to stop mail-in voting, as it is suing in other states like California. Nevada officials approved the state holding an all vote-by-mail election because of COVID.
The president started off his Monday morning with an attack on mail-in voting, accusing Nevada of conducting an 'illegal late night coup' with its decision to embrace that option as Republicans fret Trump's salvos could hurt them at the ballot box in November.
Lawmakers in Nevada on Sunday passed a bill to have November's vote be conducted by all mail-in ballots. The governor is expected to sign it, meaning Nevada will join several other states that have taken that option as a way to combat the coronavirus epidemic.
Trump and Republicans have warned that such moves will lead to voter fraud despite repeated studies that show that is not the case. The president decried Nevada's decision on Twitter. The state is a critical one for November's election.
'In an illegal late night coup, Nevada's clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!,' he wrote.
President Donald Trump railed against what he called an 'illegal late night coup' in Nevada after state decides to let vote be conducted all by mail-in
Pundits warn Americans won't know if Trump or Joe Biden won on election night because of time it will take to count mail-in votes; election results could take a week or more
The Republican Party has launched lawsuits in several states - including California - that are expanding their mail-in voting options in response to the pandemic. Seven states have decided to automatically mail ballots to voters without them having to request one. Five states already conduct elections by mail-in ballots. And many other states have allowed fear of the coronavirus to be used as a reason for requesting an absentee ballot.
Trump has repeatedly slammed mail-in voting even as he