The unofficial results of the primary voting in Michigan from Tuesday aren't expected to be released until Wednesday, according to the Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in a statement Tuesday evening.
Benson claims the 2018 law changes in the state allowing voters to turn in absentee ballots without explanation makes returning results on election night impossible. The unofficial results are expected to be released on Wednesday night after all collected ballots sent to the office of the Secretary of State, about 821,124, are counted.
The large amount of ballots, which accounts for voters of both Democrats and Republicans, represent a 55% increase from absentee ballots from 2016 presidential primary voters. The ballots are expected to create a particularly large workload for election volunteers as they scramble to complete the tally.
The delay may not mean that projections for either Sanders or Biden will not be given on Tuesday night as originally thought, but with nearly 1,000,000 uncounted absentee ballots, things could change. Michigan, with 125 delegates, could be a crucial win for Sanders who is currently trailing Biden after last week's Super Tuesday results.
"This is a huge shift in workload for the clerks and there's different capacity in every jurisdiction. Our elections are decentralized so trying to execute the counting - the tabulation process - each county is handling it and each clerk is handling it," said Benson's spokesperson Tracy Wimmer.
Biden's lead on Sanders is narrow and if the socialist candidate from Vermont has a strong night Biden's sudden uptick in popularity could be in jeopardy. Michigan was narrowly won by Sanders in the 2016 primary against Hillary Clinton, though the state ultimately was claimed by Donald Trump in the general election.