Michigan voters have new options to more safely cast their ballot amid the coronavirus pandemic — including no-excuse absentee voting for all — thanks to a 2018 state constitutional amendment:
Here's what else you need to know:
How do I register to vote?
You can register online, by mail or in person. Register online through Michigan's voter information center before Oct. 19. The center also has a downloadable application you can mail in or hand deliver to your city or township clerk’s office. If you personally deliver your application, you'll be asked for a photo ID, like a driver's license or personal ID card. If you don't have an acceptable form of photo identification, you'll be asked to sign an affidavit.
From Oct. 20 to Nov. 3, you must register in person at your city or township clerk’s office and provide proof of residency. Acceptable documentation includes a Michigan driver’s license or state ID card, bank statement, current utility bill, paycheck or government check. After registering, you can fill out an absentee ballot on the spot, at the clerk’s office, or you can vote at your polling place on Election Day.
If you're already registered, use the state's online information center to update your information, see a sample ballot and find your polling place.
How can I get an absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?
Now that Michigan is a “no-excuse” absentee voting state, all registered voters should have received a mail-in ballot application in May. It can also be downloaded or picked up from your local clerk’s office. The absentee ballot application can be returned to your clerk's office by email, mail, fax or in person.
Absentee ballot requests that are mailed in must arrive at your clerk's office no later than 5 p.m. on Oct. 30. If you’re already registered at your current address, you can request an absentee ballot in person at your clerk’s office until 4 p.m. on Nov. 2, the day before Election Day.
Completed absentee ballots must arrive by mail or be hand-delivered to the clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
How do I know my absentee ballot is secure?
Mail-in voting is extremely secure, and there is little evidence of fraud. Officials engage in a signature-matching process when you submit your application for a ballot and again when you submit your absentee ballot. The signature must match the signature on file.
When is Election Day? When are polls open?
Tuesday, Nov. 3. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Can I vote in person before Election Day?
Michigan does not have early in-person voting, but voters can cast absentee ballots beginning 45 days before Election Day. The ballots are tabulated on Election Day.
What form of identification do I need to vote?
A photo ID is required, such a Michigan driver’s license or Michigan-issued ID card, federal or state government-issued photo ID, U.S. passport, military ID with photo, student ID with photo, or tribal ID card with photo.
If you don't have an acceptable photo ID, you can sign an affidavit to vote. Your ballot is included with all others and is counted on Election Day. More information on acceptable IDs for Election Day voting is on the secretary of state's website.
What is being done to make polling places safe from the coronavirus?
The Michigan Secretary of State’s office is providing resources to help local jurisdictions ensure they can safely process the increase in mail-in ballots and provide safe in-person voting:
The secretary of state's office is also recruiting election workers to help local clerks on and before Election Day.
Will I able to vote in the same place as I always have?
You should be. The state has not announced changes to polling places. Use the state's online information center to find your polling place.
What are the key races in my state?
Voting rules and procedures may change before Election Day. We’ll update this story if they do, so bookmark this and check back.
AARP is urging older Americans to ask the candidates 5 key questions:
Also of Interest
This story is provided by AARP Michigan. Visit the AARP Michigan page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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