Absentee Voter Information - from the State of Michigan

Requesting an Absentee Voter Ballot

NOTE:  Use the "Search for Clerks by Street Address" option to find your city or township clerk for returning your absent voter ballot application.  Absent voter ballot applications should not be sent to your county clerk.

Your request for an absentee voter ballot must be in writing and can be submitted to your city or township clerk. (For assistance in obtaining the address of your city or township clerk, see www.Michigan.gov/vote) Your request must includeone of the six statutory reasons stated above and your signature. You must request an absentee voter ballot by mailing the application, with a letter or post card, or you can obtain a pre-printed application form at your local clerk's office. Requests to have an absentee voter ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk no later than 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election.

Once your request is received by the local clerk, your signature on the request will be checked against your voter registration record before a ballot is issued. You must be a registered voter to receive an absentee ballot. Requests for absentee voter ballots are processed immediately. Absentee voter ballots may be issued to you at your home address or any address outside of your city or township of residence.

After receiving your absentee voter ballot, 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 absentee voter ballot to your clerk's office.

If an emergency, such as a sudden illness or family death prevents you from reaching the polls on Election Day, you may request an emergency absentee voter ballot. Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absentee voter ballots has passed but before 4 p.m. on Election Day. The emergency must have occurred at a time that made it impossible for you to apply for a regular absentee voter ballot. Your local clerk will have more information about emergency absentee voter ballots.

Voting is one of the most cherished and fundamental rights in our country. If you are eligible to obtain an absentee voter ballot and cannot attend the polls on Election Day, use of the absentee voter ballot is strongly encouraged.

How can I check on the status of my absentee ballot request?
You can check on the status of your absent voter ballot request by contacting your city or township clerk's office. Voters can obtain contact information for their clerk by using the Department's Voter Information Center. 

I must vote in person, because I registered to vote by mail and have not voted in Michigan before. Is there a way I can vote absentee?
Under Michigan law, if you register to vote by mail, you must appear in person to vote in the first election in which you wish to participate (this provision does not apply if you are over 60 years old, disabled or overseas voter.) If you are subject to the "voting in person" requirement and have a need for a absent voter ballot, you can satisfy the requirement by requesting an absent voter ballot in person from the clerk of the city or township where you are registered to vote by the day preceding the election.

Are absentee votes always counted?
Yes. Absentee ballots simply allow voters who are eligible to cast ballots prior to Election Day. They are counted on Election Day along with all ballots voted at the polls.

 

PHOTO ID REQUIREMENT FOR IN-PERSON VOTER REGISTRATION AND IN-PERSON AV BALLOT ISSUANCE:

 

Requires in-person voter registration applicants to provide photo identification. If the voter does not present a photo ID, s/he can sign an affidavit. This requirement affects all sources of in-person voter registration transactions, including those processed by Secretary of State branch offices; county, city and township clerk’s offices; and designated voter registration agencies (Department of Community Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and military recruitment centers.)

 

  • Mail-in voter registration applications are not subject to the new ID requirement.
  • If a voter receives an AV ballot in person at the clerk’s office, the voter is required to present a photo ID or sign an affidavit. If the voter signs the affidavit, his/her AV ballot must be prepared as a challenged ballot.
  • Requires local jurisdictions and counties to report the number of voters who signed an Affidavit of Voter not in Possession of Picture Identification.
  • Acceptable picture identification: 
Michigan driver’s license or Michigan personal identification card
Current driver’s license or personal identification card issued by another state
Current federal or state government-issued photo identification
Current U.S. passport
Current student identification with photo – from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education
Current military identification card with photo
Current tribal identification card with photo