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Absent voter ballots are available to registered voters for all elections. They provide a convenient method for casting a ballot when a voter is unable to attend the polls on election day.
Absent Voter Ballot Applications
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To register to vote, you must be all of the following:
If you want to check to see if you are registered, visit www.Michigan.gov/vote. There you will find information about registering to vote and voting, voting equipment, polling place locations, state and local ballots, the candidates, campaign finance and more. Your local clerk can help with questions about your voter registration, polling place location and working at the polls.
You can register to vote when you are age 17 1/2. You may register to vote in person, by mail, or online up to 15 days prior to an election. Voters may also register in person with their local clerk within 14 days of an election, up to and including Election Day. A voter registering in the final 14 days, including Election Day, will need to show proof of residency in addition to proof of identity (or an ID that proves both. NOTE: Only voters registering in the final 14 days must show proof of residency while registering.
You may obtain the application at one of the following:
Michigan law states that the same address must be used for voter registration and driver's license purposes. That means, if the residence address you provide on the application differs from the address shown on a driver's license or personal identification card issued by the state of Michigan, the Secretary of State will automatically change your driver's license or personal ID card address to match the residence address entered on this form. If a change is made, the Secretary of State will mail you an address update sticker for your driver's license or personal ID card.
If you are living outside the U.S., you may send a Federal Postcard Application to register to vote. This application is distributed through U.S. embassies and military bases. It also serves as a way to request an absentee ballot.
No, registration is permanent as long as you continue to live in the city or township where you are registered.
If you move to a new city or township, you must re-register. If you move within a city or township and are already registered to vote, you only need to update your address.
Yes. With the passing of Proposal 18-3's amendments to the Michigan Constitution, the Must Vote in Person (MVIP) requirement for voters who register by mail their first time in Michigan no longer applies. Please note, this does NOT eliminate the state and federal ID requirement for first time voters who register by mail. The law now defines receipt of a mail-in registration form without a postmark as received on time if it is received by the 8th day prior to the election and dated at least 15 days prior to the election. To register by mail, fill out the voter registration form (PDF), and then mail it to your city or township clerk.
If you hand-deliver your application, the staff person helping you will take your form and you don't need to do anything else.
If you have never registered to vote in Michigan and choose to mail in your application, you will need to meet an identification requirement. This means you must:
NEVER SEND AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENT!
Your city or township clerk will send you a voter registration card upon processing your application. Keep it in your wallet or purse so you know where to go to cast your ballot.
For directions and a map to your polling place, visit www.Michigan.gov/vote.
You should submit a voter registration application to the clerk of your city or township of your residence with the updated information so the Clerk can update your voter record.
You must re-register with the clerk in your new city or township of residence.
Requesting an Absent Voter Ballot
Your request for an absent voter ballot must be in writing and can be submitted to your city or township clerk. (For assistance in obtaining the address of your city or township clerk, see https://www.Michigan.gov/vote) Your request must state the election(s) you are requesting an absentee ballot for, or that you would like to be on the permanent absentee ballot list, and your signature. You must request an absent voter ballot by mailing the application, large print application, a letter, a postcard, or a pre-printed application form obtained from your local clerk's office. Requests to have an absent voter ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk no later than 5 p.m. the Friday prior to the election. Absent voter ballots can be picked up by the voter in person anytime up to 4 p.m. on the day prior to the election. A voter who visits his or her clerk's office o on the day prior to the election to obtain an absent voter ballot must vote the ballot in the office; the voter is not permitted to leave the office with the ballot.
Once your request is received by the local clerk, your signature on the request will be checked against your voter registration record before a ballot is issued. You must be a registered voter to receive an absent voter ballot. Requests for absent voter ballots are processed immediately. Absent voter ballots may be issued to you at your home address or any address outside of your city or township of residence.
After receiving your absent voter ballot, you have until 8 p.m. on election day to complete the ballot and return it to the clerk's office. Your ballot will not be counted unless your signature is on the return envelope and matches your signature on file. If you received assistance voting the ballot, then the signature of the person who helped you must also be on the return envelope. Only you, a family member or person residing in your household, a mail carrier, or election official is authorized to deliver your signed absent voter ballot to your clerk's office.
If an emergency, such as a sudden illness or family death prevents you from reaching the polls on election day, you may request an emergency absent voter ballot. Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absent voter ballots has passed but before 4 p.m. on election day. The emergency must have occurred at a time which made it impossible for you to apply for a regular absent voter ballot. Please contact your local clerk for more information about emergency absent voter ballots.
Your completed absent voter ballot must be received by your city or township clerk's office no later than 8 p.m. on the date of the election.
Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center and enter your information.
If you do not know the location of your polling place use the Michigan Voter Information Center or check with your city or township clerk.
In Michigan the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
The procedure involves four steps:
Poll workers will provide information on voting procedures if you request it before you enter the voting station. Poll workers are not allowed to tell you how to vote, nor may they attempt to influence your vote in any way.
Answer any questions the election inspectors may ask in attempting to confirm your registration. Also contact your city or township clerk to confirm voter registration.
Confirm where you are registered to vote and where your polling location is at: www.michigan.gov/vote
You may vote your ballot independently without the assistance of another person using the accessible Voter Assist Terminal present in your polling location.
Any elector may request voting assistance from the precinct board without stating a reason, in which case two inspectors (one from each major political party), will render assistance. If you need assistance because you are blind, disabled or unable to read or write, you may ask anyone (except your employer, an agent of your employer or an officer or agent of your union) to give you assistance marking your ballot.
Yes, as long as the articles are for your personal use and you do not distribute or display them to other voters in the polling place. In addition, you may not leave any materials in the polling place.
Yes, as long as it is done at least 100 feet from any door used by voters to enter or exit the building in which the polls are located.
Campaign literature, apparel, buttons, stickers, etc. are not allowed within the polling location.
No, photography is not allowed in the polling location. Exception: credentialed members of the press may take photographs from the "public area", only.
A Primary Election is held by political parties to select their nominees for the offices to be elected at the upcoming General Election. In a primary, Republicans run against Republicans and Democrats run against other Democrats. And, of course, if other parties qualify to appear on the primary ballot, their candidates run against each other as well. During a Primary voters may choose only one party to vote for.
A regular State Primary Election is held in August of every even year. Special primary elections are held as needed.
The General Election determines which candidates will occupy the offices that are up for election. In partisan races, candidates that were nominated at the Primary election compete for races along with any candidates without political party affiliation. Nonpartisan races typically appear on the General Election ballot as well, such as judicial, school and library board races.
A regular General Election is held in November of every even year. Special general elections are held as needed.