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Everything you need to know about absentee voting in Michigan

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

Absentee voting has become more popular since the COVID-19 pandemic, but anyone who’s registered to vote in Michigan can request a ballot by mail. Here’s a guide to absentee voting in Michigan.

Check your status

Before requesting an absentee ballot, check your status on the Michigan Voter Information Center to see if you’re registered to vote. You can register online through the Michigan Online Voter Registration System.

Request your ballot

In Michigan, there are a few options to request a ballot.

Find your city or township clerk by entering your local address online. You can track the status of your ballot by looking up your voter information.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail or online is 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election. If you’re already registered to vote, you can request an absent voter ballot the day before or on Election Day and fill out your ballot in the clerk’s office.

What’s on the ballot?

You can view a preview of your ballot by county, jurisdiction, and precinct through the Michigan Voter Information Center.

Make sure to research the candidates on your ballot by browsing voter guides, paying attention to campaign websites and social media, and the impact candidates could have on local and statewide issues.

In 2020, more than 560,000 ballots were rejected in the U.S. according to NPR. Michigan does not have a ballot-curing provision so to avoid making a mistake on your ballot, make sure to pay close attention to any fields requiring signature or ID and return it in by the required deadline.

Where and when to drop it off

Once you mark your ballot, sign, and seal your election ballot envelope, you’re ready to drop it off. Your city or township clerk needs to receive your ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

You can mail your ballot or hand-deliver it to the clerk’s drop box. If you complete your ballot within two weeks of Election Day, it’s safest to hand-deliver it if possible.

Morgan Womack joined Michigan Radio as a digital news intern in June. She is a journalism student at Michigan State University.
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