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Michigan Voting Quick Facts

Who Can Register to vote in Michigan

To register to vote in the State of Michigan, an individual must meet the following qualifications

  • Be a United States Citizen
  • Be a resident of Michigan and the city or township where you are applying to register to vote.
  • Be at least 18 years old

If you move within a city or township, you must update your address. This can be handled through your local clerk, at a Secretary of State branch office, by mail or at any other location where voter registrations are accepted. Michigan voters must use the same residential address for voter registration and driver's license purposes. Consequently, if you submit a driver's license address change, it will be applied to your voter registration. Similarly, if you submit a voter registration address change, it will be applied to your driver's license.

Learn more about Who Can Register To Vote In Michigan?

How Do I Register To Vote in Michigan

Voting At The Polls On Election Day

WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF IDENTIFICATION FOR VOTING

By law, every Michigan voter must present picture identification at the polls, or sign an affidavit attesting that he or she is not in possession of picture identification.

Prepare for Election Day

  • Remember to bring an acceptable form of photo identification to the polls on Election Day. If you don't have photo ID you can still vote (see Voting Without Photo ID below).
  • Your photo ID does not need to have your address on it. In addition, the name on your identification card may be a shorter form of your name. For example, "Bill" for "William" and "Kathy" for "Katherine" are acceptable.
  • After showing your photo ID to the poll worker and signing the application, you may cast your ballot.

Form of id to bring at the poll

  • Michigan driver's license
  • Michigan personal identification card

A voter who does not possess either of the above may show any of the following, as long as they are current:

  • Driver's license or personal identification card issued by another state
  • Federal or state government-issued photo ID
  • U.S. passport
  • Military ID with photo
  • Student ID with photo -- from a high school or accredited institution of higher education
  • Tribal ID with photo

Voting Without Photo ID

  • If you do not have photo ID, you can still cast a ballot simply by signing an affidavit. The affidavit can be used by:
  • Voters who do not have acceptable photo ID
  • Voters who have photo ID but didn't bring it to the polls

Once you sign the affidavit, you may cast your ballot. It will be counted with all other ballots on Election Day.

Getting a State ID Card

  • If you do not have a driver's license or other acceptable photo identification, you can get a state identification card at your local Secretary of State branch office for $10.
  • State ID cards are free to individuals who are 65 or older or who are blind. Cards are also free to those who have had driving privileges terminated due to a physical or mental disability.

Learn more about Voting at the Polls on Election Day

Who Can Vote in Primary Elections in Michigan

Both Democrats and Republicans hold Open Primaries

Michigan’s March 8, 2016 presidential primary will be conducted as a "closed" primary. Normally, all of Michigan’s primaries are "open", meaning that a voter is not required to request a specific party’s ballot.

For the March 8, 2016 presidential primary, all voters must indicate if they wish to receive the Republican Party ballot, the Democratic Party ballot or the "no party declaration" special election ballot (if any).

Click here for additional information

Who Can Vote Absentee in Michigan

Absent voter ballots are available for all elections. They provide voters with a convenient method for casting a ballot when they are unable to attend the polls on election day.

As a registered voter, you may obtain an absent voter ballot if you are:

  • age 60 years old or older
  • unable to vote without assistance at the polls
  • expecting to be out of town on election day
  • in jail awaiting arraignment or trial
  • unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons
  • appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

A person who registers to vote by mail must vote in person in the first election in which he or she participates. The restriction does not apply to overseas voters, voters who are disabled or voters who are 60 years of age or older. (Voting in person on one governmental level clears the restriction on the other levels. For example, if a voter subject to the restriction votes in person at a school election, the voter would be free to obtain an absentee ballot for the first state election in which he or she wishes to participate.)

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 http://www.Michigan.gov/vote) Your request must include one of the six statutory reasons stated above 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 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election.
  • 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. Your local clerk will have more information about emergency absent voter ballots.

Voting is one of the most cherished and fundamental rights in our country. If you are eligible to obtain an absent voter ballot and cannot attend the polls on election day, use of the absent voter ballot is strongly encouraged.

Learn more about Absentee Voting

What If My Address Has Changed

Movers

  • If you moved to Michigan from another state, you must register to vote in Michigan to be able to vote.[1] The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is thirty days before the election.[2]
  • If you moved from out of state, you are only eligible to register if you have been a resident of Michigan and your township, city, or village for at least thirty days prior to the election in which you want to vote.[3] But under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[4]
  • If you moved within the same township, city or village, you can send the clerk a signed request, or apply in person to update your address.[5] If you moved to a different township or city within Michigan, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[6] That form is available here:http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MIVoterRegistration_97046_7.pdf.

College students

  • At School. Michigan law defines your voting residency as the place where you keep your belongings and habitually sleep and lodge.[8] Students can establish voting residency in Michigan if they have a present intent to remain at their Michigan school address for the time being, and they intend to make it their principal home. Any other interpretation of the residency laws is unconstitutional.
  • At Home. Students who lived in Michigan prior to attending school and who wish to establish or keep their voting residency at their parents’ address should have no problem doing so, unless they have already registered to vote in another state (see instructions under the “Absentee Voting” section below).[9] While registering to vote in another state is not automatically considered an abandonment of residency, some judges or officials might view it as such. If you have established voting residency in another state and are moving back to Michigan with the intent to reside there, you will have to follow the normal registration procedures to re-register at home.

Learn more about Movers/college students Voting

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When Is The Next Election?

Upcoming Elections Calendar - Election dates and deadlines - Check Michigan upcoming elections schedule

Poll Hours: 7:00 AM-8:00 PM

168.720 Polls: times of opening and closing - On the day of any election, the polls shall be opened at 7 o'clock in the forenoon, and shall be continuously open until 8 o'clock in the afternoon and no longer. Every qualified elector present and in line at the polls at the hour prescribed for the closing thereof shall be allowed to vote.

Unless otherwise specified, the hours for the opening and closing of polls and for the conducting of elections shall be governed by eastern standard time: Provided, however, That in the counties where central standard time is the observed time of any such county, the opening and closing of the polls and the conducting of elections may be governed by central standard time, upon resolution to such effect adopted by the county board of supervisors.

How can I find my polling location?

If you do not know where your polling place is,you can use www.michigan.gov to View your Sample Ballot for the upcoming election,Track your Absentee Ballot,Verify your Voter Registration,Find your Polling Place and more. If you have any issues or questions, please contact your County Clerk

Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?

NO: Michigan does not provide Same Day Voter Registration. You must register to vote by the voter registration deadline in order to vote in an election. If you miss the voter registration deadline for an election you should contact your local election office.

Can I Take Time Off For Voting?

Time off to vote is subject to the employer. Michigan law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

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