These solutions to common voting problems will help any Michigander cast Murphy’s Law aside.
LANSING, Mich—On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Michigan voters will finish casting ballots in the 2020 election. Millions of Michiganders have already voted by mail, by absentee ballot (also called “absent voter” ballots in Michigan), or in person at their local clerk’s office.
These were the voters with plans, voting party boxes, and social media selfies that featured iconic “I Voted” stickers.
But some Michigan voters have been burdened by everyday life that kept them from requesting a ballot by mail in enough time to receive it. Others haven’t had a chance to return an absentee ballot that’s been sitting on their kitchen table for weeks—or months. Some are just now deciding to vote.
These barriers don’t have to be deal breakers in casting your vote. We’re here to help you troubleshoot.
Here are The ‘Gander’s top tips for for shirking Murphy’s Law and making your vote count in these situations you might be up against:
I Lost My Absentee Ballot
Have you started to panic yet? If so, don’t. There’s a solution to this problem.
The State of Michigan tracks the delivery and receipt of all absentee ballots. It is easy for election officials to see that a ballot was sent to you, but also for them to confirm that it has not been returned to your local clerk’s office.
If you have lost your ballot and still plan to vote, you have two options:
- Vote in person at your local clerk’s office
Explain to officials that you misplaced your ballot and request another. Ballots can be cast at local clerk’s offices now through Monday, Nov. 2.
- Vote in person on Election Day
Election Day ballots can only be cast at your assigned polling place. Explain that you lost your absentee ballot so it can be voided before you are presented with a ballot to cast at the polling location.
Voters can also track their own ballots. Click here to track your Michigan absentee ballot.
I Can’t Find My ID
Yet another reason not to panic, dear ‘Gander.
If you are already registered to vote, you are not required to present photo identification to cast a Michigan ballot.
If you are not registered to vote, you may still register to vote and cast your ballot on the same day. Proof of identification and proof of residency are both required.
I Don’t Have a Ride to the Polls
Breathe easy, ‘Gander. You can navigate past this roadblock too. Here are some ideas to get to the polls on or before Election Day:
- Public transportation
- Call a friend
- Ask your social media contacts
Remember, it is illegal to pay for a ride to the polls for a person (or group) that would otherwise be physically capable of walking. As long as voters are in line by 8:00 p.m., they may still cast a ballot.
I Have an Emergency on Election Day
Life happens. And Michigan election officials are aware.
If you are physically unable to make it to the polls on Election Day due to physical or family illness, you may request an emergency absentee ballot, but you have to act quickly:
- Hand write a request that explains your emergency and requests the emergency absentee ballot
- Have someone hand deliver your request to your local clerk’s office by 5:00 p.m. on Election Day
- Receive your emergency ballot, fill it out
- Return your emergency absentee ballot to your local clerk’s office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Emergencies qualify if they occur after 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.
I’m Stuck at Work on Election Day. How Can I Vote?
If there’s a will, there’s a way.
If you can get to your assigned polling place and in line by 8:00 p.m., you may still cast a Michigan ballot.
If you will be unable to vote at your assigned polling location on Election Day, you may request an emergency absentee ballot.
I Tried to Vote and Was Turned Away. What Do I Do?
Voter intimidation is real, but it, too, can be overcome.
Remember, you may always be granted a provisional ballot if election officials claim that you are ineligible to vote for any reason. Click here for tips to spot and avoid other voter intimidation tactics.
Okay, I’ll Vote. But Who Are These People Running?
All you need is a few trusted research resources, ‘Gander.
Sample ballots can be viewed on the State of Michigan’s website. Click here to view your sample ballot based on your home address. It will have the names and party affiliations (if applicable) of each candidate, and the information for each ballot proposal.
Click here for more nonpartisan resources on your ballot items.
I Just Checked, and I’m Not Even Registered to Vote
This may be the easiest problem to solve of all, ‘Ganders.
You may register to vote at the time of casting your ballot. Tell election officials that you need to register before voting at your local clerk’s office, now through Nov. 2, or at your assigned polling place on Election Day.