Michigan residents have until Monday, Oct. 6, to register to vote in the Nov. 4 general election, said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.
“Every community will have an election in November and so I encourage you to register to vote,” said Johnson, Michigan’s chief election officer. “Registration only takes a few minutes and then your voice can be heard at the ballot box.”
The polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Johnson’s voter registration efforts include a 3,000-mile voter registration drive that has visited 20 state colleges and universities encouraging students to register and vote. In addition, a postcard is sent to every 18 year old on their birthday reminding them to register to vote. Voter registration is offered to newly sworn citizens at naturalization ceremonies across the state, and the department has a policy in which office customers who come in for state ID card or driver’s licenses are asked if they want to register to vote.
To register, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and be a U.S. citizen. Applicants must also be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register.
Voters may register by mail or in person at their county, city or township clerk’s office or by visiting any Secretary of State office. The mail-in form is available at www.michigan.gov/elections. First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60 years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.
To check their registration status, see a sample ballot or find their polling place, residents may visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.michigan.gov/vote. Residents can also find information on absentee voting, voting equipment and how to contact their local clerk. The site can be easily viewed on a smartphone.
Voters who qualify may choose to cast an absentee ballot. As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee ballot if you are age 60 or older; physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another; expecting to be absent from the community in which you are registered for the entire time the polls will be open on Election Day; in jail awaiting arraignment or trial; unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons or will be working as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.
As a reminder, voters will be asked to provide valid photo identification when at the polls on Election Day or if obtaining an absentee ballot in person from the clerk’s office. Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or failed to bring it with them can still vote by signing a brief affidavit stating that they’re not in possession of photo ID. Their ballot will be included with all others and counted on Election Day.
Voters who don’t have a Michigan driver’s license or identification card can show the following forms of photo ID, as long as they are current:
- Driver’s license or personal identification card issued by another state.
- Federal or state government-issued photo identification.
- U.S. passport.
- Military identification card with photo.
- Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, such as a college or university.
Tribal identification card with photo.