From photo ID rules to making sure your ballot gets to the right place, we’ve got the steps laid out for every Michigander to use their voice this election.
LANSING, MI — Finding time to vote during a normal election year can be daunting.
“I have neighbors who are still trying to figure out Zoom class for their kids, much less how they’re going to vote this year,” one Iosco County voter told The ‘Gander. “I wish someone would just put all of the information together in one place.”
This year, voters have the added stress of a global pandemic, working from home, or navigating working outside the home in PPE. There’s only so much time in a day.
To help you plan and vote more smoothly, follow these steps to create the ultimate voting day strategy.
1. Check Your Voter Registration Status
Even if you’re certain that you already know, it’s still best to start with checking your voter registration status—just in case. This will confirm that you’re registered, your address on file, and where you should vote on Election Day.
If you’ve moved since the last time you voted, your information may be outdated.
There is no deadline to register to vote in Michigan. With the passing of 2018’s Proposal 3, Michiganders can register to vote and cast their ballot on the same day. Registration is encouraged prior to voting.
2. Pick Your Date
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, but Michigan voters can vote any time between now and then.
Thanks to some varying options, Saturdays and Sundays are available for Michiganders to cast their ballot.
3. Pick Your Voting Location/Method
| In-Person Options |
On Election Day (assigned polling locations)
Most Michigan voters are familiar with voting at their assigned polling location on Election Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Click here to find your polling place.
Masks are encouraged but not required inside polling locations.
Michigan voters who forget their photo identification will be required to sign an affidavit confirming their identity before casting their ballots.
Local clerk’s office
Michiganders can request and/or cast absentee ballots at their local clerk’s office now through Nov. 2.
| Walk-Up/Roll-Through Options |
Michigan has over 700 drop box locations for returning absentee ballots. Most boxes can be accessed from a car. Voters must use a box in their registered district.
For example, a Michigan State University student living on campus who is registered to vote in their hometown in Antrim County cannot return their absentee ballot to an Ingham County ballot return box. They can, however, drop it in any local mail collection box.
| Mail |
Absentee ballots can be returned by mail, but the postmark does not guarantee your vote will be counted. Ballots must arrive at your clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.
The deadline to request absentee ballots in Michigan is Oct. 30, but due to mail delays, voters are encouraged to submit requests earlier to allow for delivery.
| In Case of Emergency |
If personal injury, illness, or a family illness or death prevents a registered Michigan voter from casting their ballot using any of the above options, they may request an emergency absentee ballot.
The emergency must have occurred after 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. To request an emergency absentee ballot, you may have someone deliver your written request for the ballot to your city or township clerk’s office before 4 p.m. on Election Day.
Emergency ballots must be submitted to the clerk’s office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.