Voter Information Center

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Obtain a mail-in voter registration form  here.

How do I register to vote in Michigan?
To register to vote you must be …

Where. You can register to vote for federal, state, and local elections by mail; at your county, city, or township clerk's office; or by visiting any Secretary of State branch office.

In addition, the following State agencies offer voter registration services to their clients: Department of Human Services, the Department of Community Health and the Department of Career Development. Military recruitment centers also provide voter registration services.

When. You must register at least 30 days before the election. This gives the clerk time to process the forms and send you a Voter Identification Card. You must also re-register to vote whenever you move to a new city or township.

How. 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.

First-time voter. 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 (1) you personally hand deliver the mail registration form to your county, city or township clerk's office instead of mailing the form (2) you are 60 years of age or more (3) you are disabled or (4) you are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

If you have never voted in Michigan and register by mail, you may also be subject to a new identification requirement provided under federal law. The identification requirement is explained on the mail-in registration form.

Moving: 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, or by mail. 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.

Mail-in Forms. A mail-in voter registration form (PDF file) can be obtained here. Mail the completed form to the address indicated on the form. If you register by mail, you must vote in person at your assigned precinct the first time you vote, unless you are:

If you are temporarily outside the U.S., you may use a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) form to register. The FPCA forms are distributed through U.S. embassies and military bases. A Michigan resident who moves and registers out of state may not re-register to vote in Michigan until he or she reestablishes residency here.

You may also register at the same time you renew your driver's license by mail. Eligible drivers receive a voter registration application in the mail with their driver's license renewal information.

Locate your clerk.

Outside the U.S. If you are temporarily outside the U.S., you may use a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) form to register. The FPCA forms are distributed through U.S. embassies and military bases. A Michigan resident who moves and registers out of state may not re-register to vote in Michigan until he or she reestablishes residency here.

You may also register at the same time you renew your driver's license by mail. Eligible drivers receive a voter registration application in the mail with their driver's license renewal information.

Additional information and assistance can be obtained through the Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Overseas Vote Foundation

Accessibility Voting

Federal and state law requires every city and township to provide accessible registration and voting locations for voters who are disabled.

If you require voting assistance, ask the election workers for help; a reason for the needed assistance does not have to be stated. Two inspectors will assist you in the voting station. An elector who is blind, disabled, or unable to read or write may be assisted with his or her ballot by any person of the voter's choice, except the following: the voter's employer or agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of a union to which the voter belongs.

For more information, contact your city or township clerk. Hearing-impaired residents may contact the Bureau of Elections at (517) 241-4320 (TTY).



Absentee Ballots

Absentee 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 absentee voter ballot if you are:

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. (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 Absentee Voter Ballot

Your request for an absentee 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 www.Michigan.gov/vote) Your request must include one of the six statutory reasons stated above and your signature. You must request an absentee voter ballot by mailing the online application, with a letter or post card, or you can obtain a pre-printed application form at your local clerk's office. Requests to have an absentee 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 absentee ballot. Requests for absentee voter ballots are processed immediately. Absentee 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 absentee 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 absentee 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 absentee voter ballot. Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absentee voter ballots has passed but before 4 p.m. on Election Day. The emergency must have occurred at a time that made it impossible for you to apply for a regular absentee voter ballot. Your local clerk will have more information about emergency absentee voter ballots.

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



How can I check on the status of my absentee ballot request?

You can check on the status of your absent voter ballot request by contacting your city or township clerk's office. Voters can obtain contact information for their clerk by using the Department's Voter Information Center.



I am in the military. How do I register to vote and request an absentee ballot?

Members of the military and their spouses and dependents may register to vote at their last residence in Michigan. These voters are exempt from the registration deadline established for an election. The easiest way such voters can register to vote is by using a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA serves as both a voter registration application and an absentee ballot request. The FPCA is available online. The voter simply completes the form and mails it the clerk of the city or township where he or she last resided. Voters can find their clerk's address by using the Department's Voter Information Center.

Additional information and assistance can be obtained through the Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Overseas Vote Foundation

I am a United States citizen residing overseas. How do I register to vote and request an absentee ballot?
A Michigan resident who is residing outside the territorial limits of the United States may register in the city or township where his or her residence was located in Michigan - even if an established place of residence is no longer maintained in the city or township. Overseas citizens are exempt from the registration deadline established for an election.

To register, the voter may use a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or Michigan's mail-in voter registration form. The FPCA form can be obtained at embassies, consulates or on our website. Michigan's mail-in form is also available on our website. The form must be submitted to the clerk of your city or township of residence in Michigan.

The FPCA form can also be used to apply for an absentee ballot.

As an alternative to using the FPCA form to request an absent voter ballot, an overseas voter can request a ballot by submitting a signed letter or post card to the clerk of your city or township of residence in Michigan.

Additional information and assistance can be obtained through the Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Overseas Vote Foundation

I must vote in person, because I registered to vote mail and have not voted in Michigan before. Is there a way I can vote absentee?

Under Michigan law, if you register to vote by mail, you must appear in person to vote in the first election in which you wish to participate (this provision does not apply if you are over 60 years old, disabled or overseas voter.) If you are subject to the "voting in person" requirement and have a need for a absent voter ballot, you can satisfy the requirement by requesting an absent voter ballot in person from the clerk of the city or township where you are registered to vote by the day preceding the election.



Can someone convicted of a felony register and vote? Can a person confined in jail or prison register and vote?

MCL 168.492a reads: "A person confined in a jail, who is otherwise a qualified elector, prior to trial or sentence may, upon request, register under section 504. The person shall be deemed a resident of the city, township, and address at which he resided before confinement. A person while confined in a jail after being convicted and sentenced shall not be eligible to register."

MCL 168.758b reads: "A person who, in a court of this or another state or in a federal court, has been legally convicted and sentenced for a crime for which the penalty imposed is confinement in jail or prison shall not vote, offer to vote, attempt to vote, or be permitted to vote at an election while confined."

Given the above restrictions, a Michigan resident confined in jail or prison that is awaiting arraignment or trial is eligible to register and vote. A Michigan resident who is serving a sentence in jail or prison after conviction cannot register or vote during his or her period of confinement. After a Michigan resident who is serving a sentence in jail or prison is released, he or she is free to participate in elections without restriction.



I lost my voter registration card. Do I need it to vote? How do I get a new one?
You do not need to present a voter registration card in order to vote. Contact your city or township clerk in order to receive a new voter registration card.



The Rights of Voters with Disabilities

The United States Constitution guarantees every U.S. citizen age 18 or older the right to vote. Our state constitution further defines the right to vote by also requiring voters to be residents of Michigan and registered to vote in their city or township of residence.

Other than city or township residency and age requirements, state and federal laws do not place any other restrictions on the right to vote. Voting allows us to shape public policy and determine who leads our communities, state and nation. Our right to vote is basic to our system of democracy, and depends on all people having full and equal access to the ballot.

Voting at the polls can present a unique set of challenges to people with disabilities. Federal and state laws require Michigan's cities, townships and villages to provide a reasonable number of accessible registration facilities. It is the intent of the law to ensure that voters with disabilities are fully able to exercise their voting rights at the polls. Any action or physical barrier that prevents voters with disabilities from casting a ballot is unacceptable.

To fulfill the intent of the laws, election officials must consider access from outside and inside the polling place. Problems with the physical surroundings such as narrow doorways, stairs, broken pavement and other obstacles outside can prevent voters with disabilities from entering a polling place. Inside a polling place, issues like inadequate lighting and seating, and voting stations that cannot accommodate a person who is seated can further hamper someone's right to vote.

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.

Voters with disabilities who require assistance in casting a ballot may receive assistance from another person if the person assisting the voter is not the voter's employer, agent of that employer or an officer or agent of a union to which the voter belongs.

If you or someone you know requires special access to the polls, it is 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.



Work the polls on election day.

If you have ever wondered how to become more active in government, there are plenty of opportunities for you that do not involve running for elected office. Michigan has 83 counties, 274 cities, 1,242 townships and 259 villages. During an election, each of these units of government requires a staff of paid workers to work at the polls.

Precinct inspectors are people who are paid to assist voters at the polls on Election Day. Registered voters interested in serving as election inspectors must submit an election inspector application to their local clerk. In addition to their name, address and date of birth, applicants must include their political party preference and qualifications to fill the position such as education or experience.

A precinct inspector must be a registered voter of the county. They cannot be a challenger, candidate, member of a candidate's immediate family, or a member of the local Board of Canvassers. Anyone convicted of a felony or an election crime may not serve.

Precinct inspectors are covered by the federal Minimum Wage Act.

Your city or township clerk will be able to answer any questions about how to apply to become a precinct inspector. Why not consider helping your community and becoming more politically active by becoming a precinct inspector?



Is there a way I can help register voters?

Yes. Most voter registration drives use this mail-in voter registration form. Voters simply need to complete this form and send it to the appropriate city or township clerk. If voters who register with this form have never voted in Michigan before, they must vote in person the first time they vote unless they are 60 years of age or more, disabled or overseas.



Election Statistics Information



I still need more information. Where can I go?

For more information visit the Secretary of State's Web site at: http://www.michigan.gov/sos

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