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Secretary of State schedules 'priority' appointments for those needing first MI drivers license

straight-party voting
Lars Plougmann
Creative Commons
The Secretary of State says 95.5% of eligible voters are registered

The Michigan Secretary of State is making priority appointments available for people who are getting their first state driver's licenses. They can register to vote at the same time. 

But the agency says people can register to vote even without a driver's license.  

The Secretary of State is offering services by appointment only because of the pandemic, and those appointments have often been in short supply, because of backlogs.

Some people who've just moved to Michigan say they've been unable to get an appointment because of the backlogs. They worry they won't be able to register to vote in in time for the November election without a driver's license. 

But the Secretary of State's office says citizen residents can apply at their city or township clerk's office to vote, even without a driver's license. They must show another form of photo identification, such as a passport or out-of-state driver's license, along with proof of residency like a utility bill or paycheck stubs.

Michigan's new election law, passed in 2018, also allows people to register to vote at their local clerk's office up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, but they must fill out their ballot at the office as soon as they are registered.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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