Everything you need to know about absentee voting

Absentee voting is available to registered voters in Michigan who meet certain conditions:

  • age 60 years old or older
  • unable to vote without assistance at the polls
  • expecting to be out of town on election day
  • in jail awaiting arraignment or trial
  • unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons
  • appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

If any of the above apply to you, it is easy to vote in advance of the election. However, there are some rules about how to receive you application and ballot. Per State law, you must request the ballot in writing. That means you cannovotebuttont call to receive a ballot. You would first have to complete an absentee voter ballot application.  Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can download and complete an absentee voter ballot application. Once you have completed the application you have a few options to return it to the City –

  • by mail,
  • in person, or
  • by someone else delivering it.

Once the City receives your application, they double check your application signature against your voter registration. If you deliver your application in person, we can provide an absentee ballot for you immediately and, faster than you can say “democracy,” you have voted in the November election. If you return it by mail or if someone else drops off your application, your absentee ballot will be mailed to you.

You have until 8 p.m. on election day to complete the ballot and return it to the clerk’s office. Your ballot will not be counted unless your signature is on the return envelope and matches your signature on file. If you received assistance voting the ballot, then the signature of the person who helped you must also be on the return envelope. Only you, a family member or person residing in your household, a mail carrier, or election official is authorized to deliver your signed absent voter ballot to your clerk’s office.

Requests to have an absent voter ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk no later than 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election (Nov. 3). 

I’ve had the opportunity to overhear many of the interactions this past week regarding absentee ballots so I thought I’d share my person FAQ:

1.Q. My son/father/husband needs to vote absentee. Can I take his ballot to him?

1.A. No. Think of the crazy conspiracies that could happen if we let people do that. Ballots are either mailed or completed in person.

2. Q. Can I vote by absentee ballot if I haven’t registered to vote?

2. A. No. The last day to register to vote for the November election was October 9. If you’re unsure if you are registered to vote, you can look it up here.

3.Q. But I’m registered to vote and I’m requesting a ballot over the phone – why can’t you just send me a ballot?

3.A. It’s the State law. We need to have a request in writing. Also – see the potential for conspiracies under Question 1. 

Have any questions about the election or the voting process? Let me know.


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