RUTH JOHNSON: Every vote counts
LANSING, Mich. - Michigan residents have until Monday, April 6, to register to vote in the May 5 election, which features a statewide ballot question, said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.
“I encourage all Michigan residents who are qualified to vote to get registered and cast your ballot,” said Johnson, Michigan’s chief election officer. “Voting gives you a chance to have your voice heard on Election Day.”
To register to vote, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and be U.S. citizens. Applicants also must be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register. Polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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, residents may visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.michigan.gov/vote. They can see their sample ballot, including the ballot question language, and find their polling place. Residents also can find information on absentee voting, Michigan’s voter identification requirement, how to use 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.
Those who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2 p.m. Saturday, May 2. Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. on Monday, May 4. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, May 4, must fill out the ballot in the clerk’s office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.
As a reminder, voters will be asked to provide identification when at the polls on Election Day or if obtaining an absentee ballot in person from the clerk’s office. They will be asked to present valid photo ID, such as a Michigan driver’s license or identification card. Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or failed to bring it with them can still vote. They will be required to sign 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.
- 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.