Voter Registration: Michigan
Registration Deadline: Eligible citizens may become registered to vote in a variety of ways, at any time through Election Day, up to 8pm on Election Day. Individuals who register to vote within the 14-day period immediately preceding an election must appear in person at their city or township clerk’s office and provide proof of residency.
Individuals using any other method must register to vote at least 15 days before Election Day and are not required to provide proof of residency.
VOTER REGISTRATION QUALIFICATIONS
Age: Must be 18 years old by election day
Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen
Residency: A resident of Michigan and the city or township where you are applying to register to vote for at least 30 days before election day.
Felony Convictions: You cannot register to vote if you are serving a sentence in jail or prison.
OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM
In person: you can register to vote at any of the following places
- at your county, city, or township clerk's office
-Offices of several state agencies, like the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Community Health, and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
-Military recruitment centers
-Voter registration drives
By mail/ in writing: Download a form online and mail it completed to the city/town clerk.
If you have never voted in Michigan before and chose to register by mail, you must meet the federal identification requirement.
You must accurately enter your state issued driver license number or personal ID card number where requested on the form
You must send one of the following forms of identification when mailing this form to your county, city or township clerk: a COPY of a current and valid photo identification (such as a driver license or personal ID card) or a COPY of a paycheck stub, utility bill, bank statement, or a government document which lists your name and address.
Online: Voter registration
VERIFYING YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS
Online: Michigan voter registration
ABSENTEE BALLOT QUALIFICATIONS
All eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.
OBTAINING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
Online: English Version: Michigan absent voter ballot application
Spanish Version: Spanish/Español
In person: You can obtain and submit an absentee application form at your local clerk's office. If you’re registering to vote or updating your address by appearing at your clerk’s office on Election Day, you can request an absent voter ballot at the same time you register. If you request your AV ballot the day before the election or on election day, you must vote the ballot in the clerk's office.
By mail: You must request an absentee voter ballot by mailing the application with a letter or postcard, or you can obtain a pre-printed application form at 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 before the election. If you’re already registered at your current address, you can request an absent voter ballot in person at your clerk’s office anytime up to 4 p.m. on the day prior to the election.
Military and overseas voting: Michigan Military and Overseas absentee ballot guide.
More information here.
Emergency Absentee Voting: 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.
SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
After receiving your absentee 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.
VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. Qualified voters standing in line at 8:00 p.m. will be permitted to vote. Call your clerk before you go, as some locations may change because of COVID-19.
Michigan has prohibited the practice of displaying election-related materials at the polls for decades. This includes clothing and buttons as well as materials such as pamphlets, fliers and stickers. You cannot display such items in the polling place or within 100 feet of an entrance to a polling place. If you go to the polls with a shirt or button bearing election-related images or slogans, you will be asked to cover or remove it.
The use of video cameras, still cameras and other recording devices are prohibited in the polls when they are open for voting. This includes still cameras and other recording features built into many cell phones. The ban applies to all voters, challengers, poll watchers and election workers. Exceptions are made for credentialed members of the news media though certain restrictions remain. See more information on cameras here.
Every Michigan voter who offers to vote in the polls must comply with Michigan’s voter identification requirement either by showing picture identification or by signing an affidavit:
Voters with picture identification: Voters can satisfy the identification requirement by showing a Michigan driver’s license or a Michigan personal identification card.Voters who do not possess either document may show any of the following forms of picture identification as long as they are current
*Driver’s license or personal identification card issued by another state
*Federal or state government-issued photo identification.
*Military identification card with photo.
*Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education.
*Tribal identification card with photo.
Voters without picture identification: Michigan election law anticipates that not all voters will have picture identification. Voters who do not bring picture identification to the polls or do not have picture identification can vote like any other voter by signing an affidavit.
A voter whose name does not appear on the registration list who cannot produce a validated voter registration receipt may be eligible to vote a “provisional” ballot. In order to obtain a “provisional” ballot the voter must: 1) complete an Application to Vote form 2) complete an affidavit stating that he or she registered to vote on or before the close of registration for the election and 3) respond to questions regarding his or her identity and residence. The election workers are responsible for providing assistance with the provisional balloting process.
The answers provided by the voter to the identity and residence questions will determine if the ballot issued to the voter can be inserted into the tabulator and counted in the polls or must be preserved in a “provisional ballot security envelope” and returned to the clerk’s office for review after the polls close. A determination on the validity of a provisional ballot secured for later review must be rendered by the city or township clerk within six days after the election.
A voter who is issued a provisional ballot has a right to know if his or her ballot counted. If the ballot is not counted, the voter has a right to know the reason. A notice which explains how this information can be obtained is provided to every voter who votes a provisional ballot.
Deciding how to vote: https://votesmart.org/
Polling Place: Michigan polling place locator
Sample Ballots: Michigan sample ballots
Problems with voting: If you witness efforts to commit any kind of fraud or corruption in the voting process, you may report this to the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections at 1-800-292-5973. If you witness actual or attempted acts of discrimination or intimidation in the voting process, you may report this to the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice at 1-800-253-3931.
Verifying absentee ballot status: Click on this link.