By Jessica Mathews/

A Democratic candidate says he’s disappointed in the Livingston County clerk’s decision to make absentee voting a partisan issue and encouraging voters to vote from home in the midst of a pandemic should not be a partisan issue.

Livingston County Clerk Betsy Hundley spoke out Thursday in opposition to a decision by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to mail out absentee ballot applications to all 7.7 million registered voters ahead of the August primary and November general election. However, Hundley asserted that her opposition was based on the legality of the decision itself. Hundley, a Republican, said while she supported “the right of all registered voters to cast an absentee ballot and encourage all voters who want to vote using an absentee ballot to do so” she contends the law still requires voters who wish to receive an absentee ballot request it in writing from their city or township clerk.

Jordan Genso of Brighton is the only Democratic candidate running for the county clerk position in the August primary, and will challenge Hundley this November. He said he was saddened the county’s top election official chose to add more partisan polarization to what should be a very reasonable policy from the Secretary of State – encouraging absentee voting and making it easier to do so during a global pandemic. Genso maintains it was an opportunity for elections officials across the political spectrum to demonstrate that bipartisanship can still grow during a time when it is in danger of becoming extinct. Genso stated around 30% of the voters in Livingston County cast absentee ballots and around 60% of those ballots have historically been for Republican candidates – stressing voting with an absentee ballot is not a partisan issue.

Hundley has declined to comment on Genso’s press release, which is attached. A link to our original article on Hundley's announcement is also provided.