Since the 2020 presidential election, America’s voting process has faced increasing scrutiny. Now, how are votes counted and certified as voters head into the 2022 midterm elections? And, do voters trust our nation’s democratic process? Detroit Free Press Politics Editor Emily Lawler sits down with former Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton to pull back the curtains and demystify Michigan’s voting process ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm election.

Barton talks about the process and increase of absentee voting since no-reason absentee voting passed in 2018, and she explores some of the misinformation that spread in the previous election around ballot dropboxes and other legal ways voters submitted their absentee ballots. They also discuss Michigan’s new legislation that allows election clerks to pre-process absentee ballots that have been received, and what that means for the vote count.

“One of the things I want to point out, that I hope voters understand, is every process that we do in the elections world, everything that we’re doing on elections day, whether it’s here or in another state, every process is verified by a Republican and a Democrat,” Barton says. “Every election cycle we have a Republican and a Democrat, multiple of them, at precincts working together to make sure our democratic processes work smoothly on election day. That same thing is happening in the absentee room.”

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With a record turnout for midterm elections expected this season, Barton and Lawler talk about when voters can expect to see results announced. Plus, Barton encourages voters who want to be involved to volunteer as election workers, where they’ll learn more about our state’s democratic process.

This story coincides with One Detroit 1-hour election special episode with the Detroit Free Press. Watch “Beyond the Ballot Box: A One Detroit Election Special with the Detroit Free Press” live at 7-8 p.m. ET on Detroit Public TV and One Detroit’s Facebook page.

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