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Michigan secretary of state says expects unofficial vote count by end of day

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DETROIT (Reuters) - Michigan, a key battleground state that will help determine who wins the U.S. presidential election, is still counting “tens of thousands” of ballots and expects to have an unofficial tally by the end of the day, the state’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, told reporters.

“We know that tens of thousands of ballots are still outstanding and need to be tabulated,” she said in a news conference, including in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Kalamazoo and other cities.

Benson said she is optimistic the majority of ballots cast on or before Election Day will be tabulated in an unofficial count by the end of the day.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden is narrowly leading Republican President Donald Trump with about 96% of the votes tallied, according to the Detroit Free Press. Trump narrowly won Michigan in the 2016 election.

“The number of outstanding ballots is still greater than the margin of difference in many races,” Benson said. “Our goal is to ensure that we are being transparent, but also fully accurate.”

Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

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