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League of Women Voters

Voting In Michigan

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Monday, April 7, 2014
By Mail:
Postmarked by Monday, April 7, 2014
Election Dates:
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Department of State
Michigan Department State
Lansing, MI 48018
Phone:
1-800-292-5973
Fax:

Upcoming Debates and Forums

There are no upcoming debates for this state.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in Michigan you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 18 years old by Election Day
  • A resident of Michigan and at least a 30 day resident of your city or township by Election Day
  • Not confined in a jail after being convicted and sentenced

ID Needed for Voter Registration

It is recommended that you show identification when you register to vote. However, if you register by mail and do not provide identification you must bring ID to the polls when you vote for the first time.

If you are registering for the first time and submitting your registration by mail, you should accurately enter your state issued driver's license number or personal ID card number on the mail-in registration form. If you have neither of these, please provide either a copy of a current and valid photo ID or a copy of a paycheck stub, utility bill, bank statement or government document that states your name and address.

The residential address you use for voter registration must be the same as the address on your driver's license. Submitting a change for a driver's license address will be applied to your voter registration and vice versa.

Note: If you have never voted in Michigan and register by mail, you must appear in person to vote in the first election in which you wish to participate. This requirement does not apply if you: personally hand deliver the mail registration form to your local clerk's office instead of mailing the form; if you are 60 years of age or more; if you are disabled; or you are eligible to vote under the uniformed and overseas citizens absentee voting act.

ID Needed for Voting?

All voters are requested to show an acceptable form of photo identification at the polls. 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. Acceptable photo ID includes:

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

Voters without photo ID: Michigan election law anticipates that not all voters will have photo ID. Voters who do not have acceptable photo ID or forgot to bring acceptable photo ID to the polls can vote like any other voter by signing an affidavit. Questions regarding the voter identification requirement can be directed to your local city or township clerk's office.

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. Proof of identiy and residencey are requred when applying for a state ID card. Visit this site for details on what forms are acceptable in order to prive identity and residency, or call 888-767-6424.

Registration Deadline

Registration Deadlines are at least 30 days before an election (mail in registrations must be postmarked 30 days prior to an election). You should register to vote at your local clerk's office, with the county clerk or by visiting any Secretary of State branch office. In addition, the following state agencies offer voter registration services to their clients: the Department of Human Services, the Department of Community Health and the Department of Career Development. Military recruitment centers also provide voter registration services.

Whenever you move to a new city or township, you must re-register to vote. 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.

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status, please visit your state's voter registration verification tool.

Absentee Ballot Process

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

  • 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 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 handicapped or voters who are 60 years of age or older.

Requests to have an absentee ballot mailed to you must be submitted to your local clerk no later than 2:00 pm the Saturday before the election. You can also fill out an absentee ballot request form here.

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 absentee voter ballot. Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absentee ballots has passed, but before 4:00 pm on Election Day. The emergency must have occurred at a time which made it impossible for you to apply for a regular absentee ballot. Your local clerk will have more information about emergency absentee voter ballots.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

 

If you have filled out your ballot and want to use express delivery, you can use the Overseas Vote Foundation's Express Your Vote resource for discounted shipping rates and reliable tracking.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have filled out your ballot want to use express delivery, you can use the Overseas Vote Foundation's Express Your Vote resource for discounted shipping rates and reliable tracking.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

Early Voting is not available.

Election Dates

The next election is Tuesday, May 6, 2014. The registration deadline is Monday, April 7, 2014

Contact your local Board of Elections for information about 2013 local elections.

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in Michigan:

  • You must be registered to vote in Michigan
  • You will be entitled to compensation
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • Political affiliation required
  • You must be a resident of the county
  • You must complete required training
  • Students16 years or older who meet all other voter requirements may be appointed

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

Polling places will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm on Election Day.

Time Off To Vote

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

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Provisional Voting

Voters who do not bring picture identification to the polls or do not possess picture identification can vote by signing an affidavit.

Voting Machines

The voting system used in Michigan is optical scan.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

Any action or physical barrier that prevents voters with disabilities from casting a ballot is unacceptable. To ensure that proper accessibility is maintained, federal and state laws require polling places to remove or make accommodations for any barriers that prevent voters with disabilities from voting.

Care should be taken to ensure that the polling place is accessible: doors should not be blocked, alternatives to stairs such as ramps or elevators should be available, and lighting and seating should be adequate. Furthermore, at least one voting station should be adapted to allow a person to vote while seated.

If you require assistance in casting a ballot, you may choose a person to help you provided that the person is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your union.

If you or someone you know requires special access to the polls, it's important to call the clerk's office ahead of time to make sure your voting site is free of obstructions. If your precinct is not accessible, you will be directed to an alternative site that is accessible. For more information, contact your local clerk. Hearing impaired residents with questions may contact the Department of State's Bureau of Elections by TTY at (517) 322-1477.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.


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