In Michigan, absentee ballots pouring in

The election may be 3 weeks away but the voters are already showing up. There's been a surge in absentee ballot requests across Michigan. (Photo: Joel Feick NBC25/FOX66)

FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. - The election may be 3 weeks away but the voters are already showing up.

There's been a surge in absentee ballot requests across Michigan.

That's according to a spokesman for the Secretary of State, who says they're up more than 22 percent statewide, compared to the last gubernatorial election in 2014.

Flint Township Clerk Kathy Funk says " people are coming in droves to pick up absentee ballots . Why? I think it's the hot bottom issues"

Voters we talked to are engaged and enthused.

Voter Patricia Ramierez " I'm gotta take it home and eat and drop it off later tonight".

Others are simply voting absentee for the convenience.

Donna Crane of Flint Township says "Well I've been doing it for a number of years, I would say ever since I turned 60. Much simpler".

Absentee voter Judith Bordeaux says "so I don't have to stand in line. Hard on my back, the older I get the worse it gets."

The Flint Township clerk expects a strong voter turnout.

In Michigan , our political expert Paul Rozycki says usually that benefits Democrats.

But when it comes to absentee ballots, Rozycki says they are typically older voters and they sometimes lean Republican.

Its tough to know exactly how the absentee folks are voting, but one thing is clear, they are voting in big numbers.

Martha Youmans, Voter "It's easier, it's really important to get out and vote so we wanted to get this done"

While there are restrictions on voting absentee, like you have to be 60 years old for example, on the ballot is a proposal so that everyone could get an absentee ballot so theoretically no one would have to wait in line.

Here are the absentee ballot restrictions right now:

*you are 60 years old or older.

*you are unable to vote without assistance at the polls.

*you are expecting to be out of town on Election Day.

*you are in jail awaiting arraignment or trial.

*you are unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons.

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