LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s Democratic governor and top elections official on Wednesday defended the integrity of the election amid continued attacks from President Donald Trump, saying results may take longer in close contests due to a surge in absentee voting in the battleground state but every valid ballot will be counted.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer encouraged people to take advantage of their right to cast an absentee ballot for any reason, including in person at their clerk’s office, to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus at a polling place on Election Day. She echoed calls that those who already have a ballot hand deliver it to their clerk or put it in a secure drop box. They are due by 8 p.m. on Election Night.

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Trump has baselessly suggested “massive fraud” in mail voting, saying the election is “rigged.” He said Wednesday he hoped courts would not allow states to “take a lot of time” after Nov. 3 to count votes.

“Depending on how close these races are, it may take a few days to determine who the winners are,” Whitmer said. “That’s OK. Our local election clerks across the state will be working to get the count right. That’s what really matters.”

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