Here’s how to be a Michigan voter from now through Nov 3, 2020


How to register and vote before Election Day

Vote early if possible—it’s never been so easy and convenient. Anyone in Michigan can vote absentee, with no reason needed. You have a right to vote!

Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at mi.gov/vote to verify your voter registration, see your sample ballot, request and track your absentee ballot, find out where you can vote, get contact info and hours for your local clerk’s office, and more.  For additional assistance at any time, call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-6863). If you need assistance in another language besides English, check out the section labeled “More questions?” below.

Live in Michigan’s 13th Congressional district? Here’s a map of where you can drop off your ballot early, and where you can go vote and register to vote in-person before Election Day.

Open Map

There are three ways to vote early in Michigan:

1. BY MAIL (we recommend doing so by Tuesday, Oct 20 to make sure it arrives on time)

  • If you mailed your absentee ballot to your city/township clerk, track it at the Michigan Voter Information Center (mi.gov/vote).

2. DROP BOX at your local clerk’s office or another authorized dropbox (before 8 pm on Tuesday, Nov 3)

  • Note: If you can’t go in-person to drop off your ballot, people living in your household, an immediate family member, or a postal worker can drop off your ballot for you.

3. VOTING EARLY IN-PERSON at your clerk’s office or satellite voting center (between now and 4 pm on Monday, Nov 2) 

It’s easy to vote from home, whether you mail in or drop off your ballot. Check out this video from our Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson showing how to do so.

And it’s easy to vote early in-person, too! You can apply for the absentee ballot and fill it out/drop it off during the same visit! Just look up hours for your local clerk’s office—in the above map if you’re in the 13th district, or otherwise at mi.gov/vote. And you can watch this video from Detroit Lions’s Joique Bell as he votes early in Detroit.

No matter how you vote, make a plan! Know when and where you’ll vote, and how you’ll get there.

Who can register to vote—including incarcerated people

You can register and vote in Michigan if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen. That includes Puerto Ricans—yes, you can vote!
  • You are a resident of a city or township in Michigan for at least 30 days (or will have been a resident for 30+ days by Election Day). You don’t have to be housed to vote! You can register to vote using a street corner, park, shelter or any other place where you usually stay as your address. You can also provide an address of an advocacy organization or someone who will accept mail for you.
  • You are at least 17.5 years old and will be 18 years old by Election Day.
  • You are not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison (you can register & vote with an absentee ballot if you are in jail but have not been sentenced). More information for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people is below.

Do you have a conviction on your record? Formerly incarcerated? Are you on probation or parole? Are you in jail or prison awaiting trial/sentencing?

You can still vote!

You can vote if you are:

  • In jail awaiting trial/sentencing
  • Awaiting arraignment (the process of having a judge formally present the charges against you)
  • Charged with a felony but not convicted
  • Newly released from jail or prison (including people with felony convictions)
  • On parole or probation (including people with felony convictions)
  • In the process of appealing a conviction

Upon release from jail or prison, your voting rights are automatically restored, even if you are on probation or parole. Please register to vote ASAP.

How to fill out your ballot

Want to see what will be on the ballot? View your sample ballot at mi.gov/vote

Important tips to fill out your ballot:

  • Fill out both the front and back of your ballot. (Don’t forget the non-partisan section!)
  • Place it in the envelope provided.
  • Don’t forget to sign the return envelope on your absentee ballot. Otherwise, it won’t be counted!

MI Supreme Court Nonpartisan section

What to bring when registering to vote or voting in-person

If English is your second language, you are allowed to bring someone to help translate for you and help you complete your ballot (anyone except your employer or union). And at any time, you can call the election protection hotlines in our section labeled “More questions?” below—there are phone numbers for assistance in Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Urdu and Vietnamese.

If you are blind, disabled, or unable to read or write, you have the right to bring someone to assist you with voting (anyone except your employer or union).

When registering to vote between now and November 3:

Visit your city/township clerk’s office and provide “proof of residency”: a document with your name and current address in the city/township where you live. Paper or electronic copies of any of the following documents will work:

  • A Michigan driver’s license or state ID card
  • A utility bill
  • A bank statement
  • A paycheck
  • A government check
  • Any other government document

When voting in person between now and November 3:

  • You do NOT need a photo ID to vote. But if you have it, bring it with you and provide it to the poll worker. Otherwise, you can sign a simple form and still vote.
  • A small number of first-time voters who registered through the mail or a voter registration drive may need to provide some documentation to vote. Electronic or paper copies of any of the following will work:
    • A photo ID with your name and picture (regardless of the address or if it has an address, from any state)
    • A non-photo ID with your name and address on it, like a:
      • Current utility bill
      • Bank statement
      • Paycheck stub
      • Government check
      • Any other government document

 For additional assistance at any time, call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-6863). If you need assistance in another language besides English, check out the section labeled “More questions?” below.

How to vote on Election Day

Polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm local time. You have the right to vote if you are in line by 8 pm.

If you are already registered to vote where you live, you must vote at your assigned polling place. Look up your polling place online at the Michigan Voter Information Center: mi.gov/vote.

If you are not registered to vote where you live, you must visit your city/township clerk’s office with proof of residency by 8 pm on Election Day to register to vote. Once you are registered, you can vote by an absentee ballot in the clerk’s office or go to your polling place, if there is time to do so.

If you have an absentee ballot, but you’ve decided not to use it and instead want to vote in person on Election Day: Take your absentee ballot to your polling place on Election Day and surrender it. You will then be issued a new ballot that you can fill out and submit there.

Why it’s important to vote

When you vote, you are showing up for your community. 

In 2016, President Trump narrowly won Michigan by 10,704 votes. Every single vote counts, and together we have more power. That’s why it’s important that we vote and encourage our families, friends, and neighbors to join us.

This election is critical. It’s not just names on the ballot. It is about our shared values, our desire for better, and our will to push for greater opportunities for our loved ones and our communities. Many people’s lives depend on the results of this election.

We must vote hate out of the White House and we must elect Democrats up and down the ballot. In Michigan, we have a chance to vote out Trump, defend a Democratic Senate seat, and win important state and local races.

More questions?

Election protection hotlines

Don’t forget to check out the Michigan Voter Information Center at mi.gov/vote.

You can also call these Election Protection hotlines for assistance at any time in multiple languages:

  • For assistance in English, call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
  • Para recibir ayuda en español, llama a 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682)
  • 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287): للمساعدة باللغة العربية، اتصل على ‬‬‬‬‬‬
  • For assistance in Bengali, Cantonese, English, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Urdu or Vietnamese call 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683)

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