Two special election primaries revealed a shocking shift to absentee ballot voting that will force candidates and campaigns to conform to what is likely a new reality.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) called special elections in House Districts 13 and 25 after state Reps. Lori Stone and Kevin Coleman won mayor positions in Warren and Westland, respectively.

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Whitmer ordered primaries to be held January 30 and general elections April 16.

Observers noted few people were turning out to the polls January 30 in what was forecasted to be a low turnout election. That’s because the vast majority of those who wanted to vote, cast ballots prior to election day, according to results from the Macomb County clerk’s office:

Whitmer’s endorsed candidate, Mai Xiong, received 88 percent of her votes by absentee ballot, while second-place finisher LaMar Lemmons received about 93 percent of his votes via absentee ballot.

Warren Precincts 28 and 29 had a combined 92 percent of votes cast by absentee ballot for a greater than 10-to-1 ratio of absentee versus in-person.

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The lopsided ratio wasn’t limited to District 13.

House District 25, centered in Westland and Wayne, had similar disparities, results from the Wayne County clerk showed.

On Election Day, 757 voters cast ballots in person, while 4,952 voted by absentee ballot, making up 87 percent of votes cast.

The data would not indicate establishment Democrats had some sort of absentee ballot operation under way. Gretchen Whitmer’s endorsed candidate, Andrea Rutkowski, received 86 percent of her votes via absentee ballot, while the primary winner, Peter Herzberg, had 90 percent of his votes cast by absentee ballot.

The ratio was not limited to Democrats. District 13 Republican primary winner Ron Singer received 92 percent of his votes absentee, while District 25 winner Josh Powell won 93 percent of his votes by mail-in ballot.

According to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson — who flawlessly exploited the coronavirus pandemic to move voters to more absentee balloting — recently said there has been another surge in mail-in ballot requests.

“1.3 million Michigan voters have applied for absentee ballots 3 weeks before (2024 presidential primary) election day, an 80% increase since the same point in 2020,” her office said.

This development will force candidates to shift their strategy to focus on voters who are casting ballots as much as one month prior to Election Day.