Viewpoint: Voter Information 2020
Wed, 02/12/2020 - 9:00am caleb
League of Women Voters of Michigan
The League of Women Voters of Michigan would like to share the following information with voters prior to the state’s election on Tuesday, March 10.
New Voting Rights
• Citizens may register to vote right up to and including Election Day
NOTE: From the 14th day before and through Election Day at 8 p.m. (last 2 weeks before the Election) it must be in person in your clerk’s office.
• Voting Before Election Day by Absentee Ballot for ALL registered voters
• Online voter registration www.Michigan.gov/VoterRegistration
• Automatic Voter Registration for those with a state ID/driver’s license
• Straight party voting as an option
• Mandated Election Audits (Statewide elections)
• Military/Overseas ballots (45 days prior to Election Day)
• Secret Ballot guaranteed
• Clerk Offices Open for 8 hours the weekend before Election Day
Voting Before Election Day By Absentee Ballot
• No reason needed. Request (by phone, letter, etc.) and submit an application from your local clerk or download one at www.mi.gov/vote and mail/deliver to your local clerk. You can track your application and ballot at www.mi.gov/vote.
• IN PERSON – Vote the absentee ballot and submit in person OR take the ballot home, mark the ballot, and then mail the ballot back so it arrives by Election Day at 8 p.m. (1st class postage required) or drop it off at the city/township clerk’s office.
• It is possible for a person, with appropriate proof of residency, to register, get an absentee ballot, and vote all in the same day in your clerk’s office.
• BY MAIL/FROM HOME – Vote the absentee ballot at your convenience and use the provided envelope to mail (1st class postage required) to city/township clerk’s office. Your ballot must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Allow adequate time for mail.
• Be sure to follow all instructions, and don’t forget to sign the return envelope!
• Voters may sign up to permanently receive an Absentee Voter Application (at their same mailing address) in many municipalities.
• At all times, your signature should be relatively unchanged. If your signature has changed, consider asking for a new one to be put on file.
Do I need a photo ID to vote?
No. But if you have it, bring it with you and provide it to the poll worker.
You will be asked for photo ID when you go vote. If you do not have photo ID or do not have it with you, you can sign a simple form and vote.
• Any voter may vote by Absentee Ballot.
• Every location MUST have a Voter Assist Terminal (VAT) that has many options to help you vote. You have a right to assistance from the election officials.
• If you have a concern about accessibility on Election Day, you should contact your clerk’s office prior to that day.
• You may bring someone with you to help with language or accessibility who is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer/agent of your union.
How Do I Register?
• In person at any Secretary of State branch office or your city/township or county clerk’s office. To find your clerk, go to www.mi.gov/vote
• By mail: complete a voter registration application and mail it to your local clerk. Online at www.mi.gov/VoterRegistration
• When applying for services at state agencies that provide public assistance (such as Medicaid, WIC and food stamps) or services to people with disabilities.
• At a voter registration drive, by filling out a voter registration application and giving it to a private organization to turn in for you.
Am I already registered? You can check at www.mi.gov/vote or www.mvic.sos.state.mi.us (on a device).
You can register to vote if:
• You are a U.S. citizen;
• You are (or will be) a resident of Michigan and the city or township where you want to register to vote for at least 30 days by Election Day;
• You are 18 years old or will be by Election Day; and
• You are not incarcerated on Election Day after being convicted and sentenced for a misdemeanor or felony.
What if I’m a student?
• You can register to vote at your school address or your home address— depending on what address you consider to be your residence.
• Your residence is where you habitually sleep, keep your belongings and have a regular place of lodging. This includes students from out-of-state.
• Michigan requires your voter address and license/state ID address to match.
If you already have a Michigan ID and you register to vote at a different address, you will receive a change of address sticker to affix to your license/ID.
What if I am incarcerated or have been convicted of a crime?
• Only persons who are currently incarcerated and serving a sentence for a misdemeanor or felony conviction are prohibited from voting.
• You can register and vote if you are on probation or parole.
• Your right to vote is automatically restored when you are released from incarceration. However, it will be restored at the address you were previously registered to vote; for many, voting will require you to file a change of address.
What about someone who is homeless?
• You don’t need a home to register, but you do need to identify an address for mail, and a location you consider a place of residence; it can be a street corner, a park, a shelter or any other place where you usually stay.
How To Get Information Or Help
• Michigan’s Voter Information Center www.michigan.gov/vote
• Michigan Bureau of Elections: (800) 292-5973
• Your local or county clerk’s office
• The League of Women Voters, ACLU, NAACP or another voter advocacy group
• www.VOTE411.org – online voter’s guide; what’s on your ballot; more. Local races included where there is an active local League of Women Voters. Printed State Voter Guides for November 3 General Election will be widely distributed.
• Election Protection Hotline: 866OurVote.org (866-687-8683); 866-OUR-VOTE (English); 888-VE-Y-VOTA (Spanish); 844-418-1682 (Arabic); 888-API-VOTE (Asian/PI) Lines are always open, including Election Day.