New rights for voters in upcoming election
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson reminds voters to learn more about their new rights ahead of the Tuesday, Nov. 5, local election and to cast a ballot.
The changes include allowing all registered voters to vote by mail at their convenience and for citizens to register to vote up to and on Election Day at their local clerk’s office.
“Voting is how we demonstrate our power in society,” Benson said. “Last fall, Michigan voters used their power to make voting easier for everyone, by allowing all to vote early and by mail. I encourage all Michigan voters to take advantage of these new rights.”
Of Michigan’s 83 counties, 69 will hold elections Tuesday, Nov. 5. To find out if your community is holding an election, visit Michigan.gov/Vote. Polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Citizens may register to vote up until 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you aren’t registered, or need to update your address, you may do so by appearing in person at your city or township clerk’s office and providing proof of residency in the form of a driver’s license or personal ID card, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document. The document must have your current address and it can be in electronic form.
To register to vote, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and U.S. citizens. Applicants also must be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register for at least 30 days before Election Day.
All eligible and registered voters in Michigan may request an absentee ballot without providing a reason and vote early. Drop off your ballot application in person at your township or city clerk’s office no later than 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, and you will be given an absentee ballot that you can vote in the office. If you’re registering or updating your address on Election Day at the clerk’s office, you can get an absentee ballot to vote at the office at the same time.
You also can mail the ballot application. Requests to have a ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. If you get your absentee ballot by mail, you can return it by mail or in person, but it must be received by your city or township clerk by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, to count. Keep in mind that USPS mail delivery standards indicate most mail can take up to a week to arrive – so delivering ballot requests and voted ballots is best done in person at this point. Get an absentee ballot application at Michigan.gov/Vote.
For those communities holding an election Tuesday, Nov. 5, city and township clerks’ offices will be open the weekend before Election Day to assist voters with registering to vote and voting absentee early. Office hours vary by community, so check information for your city or township clerk online at Michigan.gov/Vote or contact your local clerk’s office directly.
For more information, download the New Rights for Michigan Voters flyer at Michigan.gov/Elections.
To check your registration status, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at Michigan.gov/Vote. You can view a sample ballot and find your polling place. You also can find information about how to use voting equipment and how to contact your local clerk.