Despite the larger number of people taking advantage of Absentee Ballots, a few still choose to vote in person at the polls. Photo Franz Knight
Despite the larger number of people taking advantage of Absentee Ballots, a few still choose to vote in person at the polls.

Looking to cast your ballot at the polls Nov. 3? Here’s what you need to know.

LANSING, MI — Heading to a polling center to vote in person on Election Day has historically been the most common way for Americans to cast their ballot, but experts are predicting record numbers of Michiganders voting by mail for the 2020 presidential election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, voting in person on Election Day on Nov. 3 is still a favored option for many, despite some concerns and confusion around the operation and safety of polling places. It also has the added benefit of ensuring that your vote is counted.

If you’re planning or considering voting in person on Election Day this November, read our guide below for everything you need to know about what it will look like in Michigan this year.

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Is Voting in Person on Election Day Safe in Michigan?

For many Michiganders, voting in person on Election Day is a simpler or just preferred process than voting by mail. Despite concerns around being exposed to COVID-19 at polling places, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official, said voting in person would be safe as long as voters wore masks and social distancing measures were observed. He compared its safety with that of shopping at a grocery store that’s employed social distancing procedures.

Wired also noted that there was no evidence of spikes in coronavirus cases after the Wisconsin primary in March.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are not requiring Michigan voters to wear masks to the polls, but they are encouraged to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Will Voting in Person Take Longer This Year in Michigan?

It’s likely that voting in person on Election Day this year will actually take a shorter amount of time. More Michiganders are predicted to vote early or by mail, reducing the amount of voters heading to the polls. Plus, the CDC has advised local polling places to expand in-person early voting and Election Day hours of operation to lower the number of voters congregating at a polling location at the same time. 

SEE ALSO: Benson: Michigan Shouldn’t Expect Results on Election Night

Are Normal Polling Places Going to Be Open in Michigan?

Generally, yes. Though, changes to polling places, including additional satellite locations and new safety procedures, are possible due to the coronavirus, so it’s important to verify your polling place and its operating hours with your local Michigan clerk close to Election Day.

How Can I Find Out if my Polling Place is Open or Has Changed?

Click here to verify your Michigan polling location for Election Day.

What Should I Do to Prepare to Vote in Person This Year?

First, click here to ensure you are registered to vote at your current address. Then, check your local election office website close to and on Election Day to find your polling place.

Michigan polling locations are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

READ MORE: Voting in 2020: Your Guide to Creating an Election Plan in Michigan