Everyone in Michigan has the right to vote by mail, and should request a vote by mail ballot ahead of the critical August 4th primary. Click here to request and track your vote by mail absentee ballot application with the Michigan Secretary of State.
Have questions? See FAQs below.
As we fight back against the many crises impacting our communities and this country, including COVID-19 and structural racism, it is essential to ensure we have safe ways to make our voices heard at the ballot box to cement the power and policy changes we need.
In this pandemic, voting by mail is a safe and secure way to make your voice heard without jeopardizing your health or the health of your neighbors. And absentee voting (voting by mail) is currently underway!
Clerks across Michigan are sending all registered voters in the state an application to vote by mail—for the August 4th primary and November 3rd general election. It only takes a few minutes to fill out, so please do so! (If you’re not registered to vote, you can register to vote online and then request a vote by mail ballot online, too.)
We want to make sure you’re informed, so we’ve provided more information below about how to fill out the application, where to send it, and what to expect for when to get your actual ballot. Below are FAQs.
You’re already able to submit your application to vote absentee digitally by scanning and emailing a signed application to clerks (more information on that is below). But now you can actually complete the application process fully online. Just go here to fill out the application online.
After verifying the application you send online, your local clerk will then mail you your ballot. More information about how to send back your ballot is below.
The page looks like this:
I heard we’re getting absentee ballot (vote by mail) applications in the mail. What will mine look like?
Yes, the Michigan Secretary of State or your City Clerk is sending registered voters an
absentee ballot application by mail. If you’re registered, yours will come marked as official election mail from the Michigan Secretary of State or your City Clerk.
But in case you don’t get yours or you accidentally threw it away, request a vote by mail ballot online here. (Or if you’d prefer, you can download an application form online, print it out, and send it to your City Clerk.) If you’re not registered yet, you can register online beforehand.
I’m not registered to vote yet. Or I’m registered, but I want to update my registration to my new address. What should I do?
Click here to register to vote or update your registration online (up until July 20—after that you’ll have to go in-person to your city clerk’s office) or check your registration status.
As soon as you’re registered, you can apply online to get a vote by mail ballot.
You can also go to your city clerk’s office to register to vote and submit an application. Please wear a mask and take appropriate precautions, however. After July 20, this will be your only option to register, and you’ll need to bring proof of residency with your name and current address (drivers’ license, utility bill, paycheck, etc).
OK, I have the application form (from the mail or online). How should I fill it out?
If you’d prefer to get the form online to print and mail, it will look like this:
For the online application, you MUST fill out steps 1, 2, and 3 (your contact info, which elections you want an absentee ballot for, and your signature). For the mailed application, you must at least sign on the top and check which election you’d like an absentee ballot for. Especially since gathering in crowds will be risky for a long time yet, we recommend checking the box to get an absentee ballot in both 2020 elections (the primary and general election).
If you want your absentee ballot to be mailed to a different location, you must fill out that section, as well.
If someone is helping to fill out or send in the application, then they must fill out that section with their information and signature.
OK great, I’ve filled out my application to vote by mail! How do I send it in?
If you applied online for a vote by mail ballot, that will go through automatically.
If you’re filling out a physical application (either one that got mailed to you or one you printed and downloaded online), your application MUST go to your local clerk’s office, for where you are registered to vote. Find your clerk’s mailing address and other information here.
You can either MAIL the application you were sent back to your local clerk’s office with pre-paid postage envelope provided, or you can EMAIL it to your local clerk, by taking a picture of the form (or a screenshot or scan). Make sure your signature is visible!
Or you can deliver it in-person to your local clerk’s office. If you can’t do this, any Michigan registered voter can deliver it for you, but they MUST fill out and sign the section on the form that says “Certificate of Authorized Registered Elector Assisting in Returning Application.
When do I need to send in the application in order to vote in the August 4th primary election?
But the sooner the better so you can get your ballot in time!
OK, I submitted my application. When can I expect my ballot and when should I send it in?
Ballots are mailed starting ~45 days before the election, so the week of June 20th. They will go out daily after that as applications are received.
With the influx of requests due to COVID-19, there might be delays. So please send in your application ASAP so you can get your ballot with plenty of time and mail it back as soon as possible once you get it. Your local clerk’s office MUST receive your ballot by 2 pm Saturday August 1st. The last day you can bring in your ballot is by 4 pm Monday August 3rd. (The voting process on Election Day itself is different.)
I want to go in-person to register to vote or get/submit an application to vote by mail. How do I do that?
If you need to, you can go into your local clerk’s office anytime up to 4 pm on August 3rd, the day before the election, to request an absentee ballot or just get one there and fill it out there. You can also go there to register to vote.
Some local clerks will be opening satellite offices where you can go to register as a new voter, register to vote absentee (by mail), and drop off your ballot. Check your local clerk’s website for more information about satellite offices, their hours, and locations.
If you live in Detroit, the city has already picked 7 Satellite Voting Centers in each of the 7 Council Districts. Check their locations here. Starting on Monday, July 13th, all of these Satellite Voting Centers will be open Monday-Friday. For every District except District 5, the hours are 9am-4pm. The District 5 location is the same as the main Department of Elections office (anyone in the city can go there, too), which will be open from 8am-5pm.
Because COVID-19 is ravaging our community and the risks will continue for months, the safest thing to do is vote by mail or to go in-person before Election Day (August 4th).
How can I track the status of my application or ballot?
Go to mi.gov/vote and you’ll see a place to enter your voter registration information. Then it goes to a page where you can track the status of your registration, your application to vote by mail, if your ballot has been mailed to you, and if the ballot you mail out has been received. It also shows your sample ballot and other important election information.
I still have more questions.
No worries! Go to this website if you want to find out more about the process of voting by mail. If you have any issues with registering or early voting, you can call the voter assistance hotline at 1-833-MIVOTES.
Voting by mail is incredibly secure, but if you have any questions about that, you can check out this article by the Brennan Center for Justice.
Thank you, and please share this information with your friends and family. Hope you’re staying safe and healthy!
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