Michigan

Upcoming Elections

Nov. 3, 2020 – Voter Registration Deadline

You may now register to vote or update your registration address up to 8 p.m. on Election Day in Michigan at your city/township clerk’s office. You can vote by absentee ballot in the same visit. See the details below.

Voting in Michigan

Where You Can Vote

ON ELECTION DAY:  

  • If you are already registered to vote at your current address, you must vote at your assigned polling location on Election Day. Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center and click on “Where’s my polling place” to find your assigned location. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time on Election Day. A voter waiting in line at the polling place by 8:00 p.m. must be allowed to vote. 
  • If you need to register to vote or update your registration address, you can visit your city or township clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day to register or update your registration. You will need proof of residency to do so (see below). After registering or updating your registration address, you can choose to vote an absentee ballot in the clerk’s office or go to your polling location to vote if there is time.  
  • If you’ve moved, you can also vote at your old polling place one last time if (1) you moved within the same city or township, or (2) you moved to a different city or township after September 4, 2020.

BEFORE ELECTION DAY:  

  • All registered voters in Michigan can vote before Election Day using an absentee ballot. Starting September 24, 2020, through 4 p.m. the day before Election Day (Monday, November 2, 2020), voters can appear at their city or township clerk’s office to vote an absentee ballot.  
  • Starting on September 24, 2020, city/township clerks’ offices must be open during normal business hours and for at least 8 hours the weekend before Election Day.
  • Individuals can also register to vote (or update their registration address) and vote in one visit to their city/township clerk’s office or satellite office. 

CITY OF DETROIT SATELLITE OFFICES: 

The city of Detroit plans to open a number of satellite offices on October 5, 2020. Satellite office locations can be found at the Michigan Voter Information Center under “Your Clerk.”

Registering to Vote

YOU CAN REGISTER AND VOTE IN MICHIGAN IF YOU ARE:

  • a U.S. citizen;
  • a resident of a city or township in Michigan for at least 30 days (or will be by Election Day);
  • at least 17.5 years old and will be 18 years old by Election Day; and,
  • not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison

WHEN TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN MICHIGAN: 

You must be registered to vote in order to vote in Michigan. You can register at any time up to 8 p.m. on Election Day, but it is better to register as soon as possible. The earlier you register the more choices you will have for how to register. 

AM I ALREADY REGISTERED TO VOTE?

  • Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at the Michigan Voter Information Center to see if you are registered to vote. Check to see that you are registered to vote where you currently live.
  • Or call your city or township clerk’s office.

HOW TO REGISTER:

  • Prior to October 20, 2020, you have many ways to register to vote:
  • Online at www.mi.gov/VoterRegistration;
      • At a Secretary of State branch office; 
      • At your city or township clerk’s office; 
      • At any state agency that provides public assistance or services to people with disabilities; 
      • By mailing in a completed voter registration application postmarked by October 19, 2020; or, 
      • Through a voter registration drive. 
  • Starting on October 20, 2020 and through 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020 (Election Day),  you have one way to register to vote:
    • Visit the city of township clerk’s office where you live and provide “proof of residency.”
    • “Proof of residency” is a document with your name and current address in the city or township where you live. Paper or electronic copies of any of the following documents will work:
      • A Michigan driver’s license or state ID card;
      • A utility bill;
      • A bank statement;
      • A paycheck;
      • A government check; or
      • Any other government document.

WHERE IS MY CITY OR TOWNSHIP CLERK’S OFFICE(S) AND WHEN IS IT OPEN?

    • Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center  and enter your address to find your city or township clerk’s address and hours.
    • Starting September 24, 2020, clerks’ offices must be open during their normal hours and for at least 8 hours over the weekend before Election Day (October 31-November 1).
  • Due to potential changes in office hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should call your city or township clerk’s office to confirm office hours before going to the office.

DO I NEED A PHOTO ID OR PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP TO REGISTER TO VOTE?

  • No. However, you may be asked for a photo ID when registering to vote in person. If you don’t have one or don’t have one with you, you can sign a simple form and then register to vote.
    • However, starting on October 20, 2020, you WILL need “proof of residency” in order to register (see above).
  • If you have a Michigan driver’s license or state ID card, or a social security number, include the numbers on your voter registration application where indicated.  

WHAT IF I’VE MOVED?

  • You should update your registration whenever you move.
  • If you haven’t updated your registration to your current address by Election Day, you can update your registration at your city or township clerk’s office with “proof of residency” (see above) until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Alternatively, you can vote at your old polling place one last time if you:
    • Moved within the same city of township; OR

Moved to a different city of township within 60 days of the election (on or after September 4th, 2020 for the November General Election)

Early Voting

Voting BEFORE Election Day BY MAIL

WHO MAY REQUEST AN ABSENT VOTER BALLOT? Any registered voter may apply for an absent voter ballot beginning 75 days before election day. 

HOW TO REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT: 

  • Call your city or township clerk and ask for an application to be mailed to you; or
  • Write a letter requesting an absentee ballot with your name and address.

SUBMITTING YOUR REQUEST FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT: 

Complete the application, sign it using your official signature, and submit it to your city or township clerk. You can submit your application by mail, fax, email, or in person. Make sure your signature is visible. 

TRACKING YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION AND BALLOT

Keep an eye out for your absentee ballot to arrive in the mail. You can track your application and ballot at the Michigan Voter Information Center. If you have not received your absentee ballot and cannot find tracking information online, visit your city or township clerk’s office to obtain your absentee ballot in person.

COMPLETING YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT AND ABSENTEE BALLOT ENVELOPE:

Fill out your ballot, place it in the envelope provided, and sign the outside of the envelope using your official signature.    

SUBMITTING YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT TO YOUR CITY OR TOWNSHIP CLERK:

  • Absentee voter ballots must be received by the city/township clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Information on clerk hours and locations and drop box locations and hours can be found at the Michigan Voter Information Center.

IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT ABSENTEE VOTING:

Please see the attached, “Absentee Voting Frequently Asked Questions” (Rev 7/28//20).

Voting BEFORE Election Day IN PERSON 

WHO MAY VOTE IN PERSON BEFORE ELECTION DAY? 

Registered voters in Michigan can vote by absentee ballot in person at their city/township clerk’s office (or satellite office)starting on September 24, 2020.  City/township clerks’ offices must be open during their regular business hours and at least 8 hours the weekend before Election Day.   

HOW TO VOTE BEFORE ELECTION DAY IN PERSON:

  • Step 1: Go to your city or township clerk’s office.
  • Step 2: Fill out an application for an absentee ballot and submit it to the staff. 
  • Step 3: Fill out your ballot, place it in the envelope provided, sign the outside of the envelope with your official signature, and leave it with the staff. 

WHEN CAN I VOTE IN PERSON BEFORE ELECTION DAY? 

You can vote at your city or township clerk’s office starting on September 24, 2020. If you are already registered to vote where you live, the deadline to vote an absentee ballot in your city or township clerk’s office is 4 p.m. on Monday, November 2. If you are not registered to vote where you live, the deadline to register and vote at your city or township clerk’s office is 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. 

Identification Requirements

DO I NEED A PHOTO ID TO VOTE?

No. You will be asked for photo ID when you go vote. If you do not have photo ID or do not have it with you, you can sign a simple form and vote.

DO I NEED A PHOTO ID TO VOTE IF THIS IS MY FIRST TIME VOTING IN MICHIGAN?

No. However, some first-time voters who registered through the mail or a voter registration drive and did not include ID when they registered to vote may need to provide some documentation to vote. 

ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF ID:

Electronic or paper copies of any of the following will work:

  • A photo ID with your name and picture (regardless of the address or if it has an address):
    • Driver’s license or personal ID card from any state
    • Michigan high school or college ID
    • U.S. Passport
    • Military or government issued photo ID
    • Tribal ID card
  • A non-photo ID with your name and address on it:
    • Current utility bill
    • Bank statement
    • Paycheck stub
    • Government check
    • Any other government document

DO I NEED THE RECEIPT I RECEIVED WHEN I REGISTERED TO VOTE?

No. But if you have it, bring it with you. 

DO I NEED MY VOTER IDENTIFICATION CARD TO VOTE?

No. But if you have it, bring it with you.

If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter

REGISTERING AND REQUESTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT:

Special services are provided to assist military and overseas civilian voters participate in elections. If voter is a military or overseas civilian voter who is eligible to vote in Michigan, please visit the Michigan Secretary of State’s website and follow the instructions for the appropriate scenario.

RECEIVING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT:

Military and other overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Michigan-specific website.

FEDERAL WRITE-IN ABSENTEE BALLOT:

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by military and other overseas citizens voters. You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities. You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 5 days before the election (Thursday, September 28, 2020). If you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB. Your FWAB must be received by your local voting officials in Michigan no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day. For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Michigan-specific FWAB page.

If You Have a Conviction or are in Jail or Prison

CAN I VOTE? 

  • The ONLY time you cannot register and vote is when you are serving a sentence in jail or prison. 
  • You can register to vote and vote if you:
    • Are in jail, but have not been sentenced
    • Are serving a sentence, but are not in jail or prison
    • Are on probation or parole, but are not in jail or prison; or
    • Served your sentence and are no longer in jail or prison 
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