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Don't miss the vote!
OCTOBER 16, 2006
Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land today reminded eligible residents there is still time to request an absentee voter ballot for the Nov. 7 election.
"An absentee ballot offers those who qualify the flexibility of voting at a time and place that is convenient for them," said Land. "Eligible residents should contact their local clerk at the earliest opportunity to make sure they meet applicable deadlines.
"Absentee voting is a helpful option for many voters as it ensures their participation in November's election."
Registered voters may request that an absentee ballot be mailed to their home. They have until 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 to submit a written and signed request to their city or township clerk, including the reason they qualify. Upon receiving a mailed ballot, voters must complete and return it to the clerk's office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Voters may call their local clerk to request an absentee ballot application or download one online at www.michigan.gov/vote.
Residents interested in obtaining an absentee voter ballot may also visit their city or township clerk's office through 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6. Those who request a ballot in person on Nov. 6 must vote the ballot while they are in the clerk's office.
Emergency absentee ballots are available as well. Requests must be submitted after the Nov. 4 deadline but before 4 p.m. on Election Day.
Registered voters can obtain absentee ballots if they are:
It is important to note that residents who have registered to vote by mail or via a voter registration drive and have never voted in Michigan are not eligible to vote by absentee ballot in their first election. They must vote in person at their precinct. This restriction does not apply to overseas voters, voters who are handicapped or voters who are 60 or older.
The voter's signature on the absentee ballot return envelope must match the signature on file. If a voter receives assistance in preparing the ballot, the signature of the person providing the help must also be on the return envelope.
Signed absentee ballots can only be returned to a clerk's office by the voter, a family member or person residing in the voter's household, a mail carrier or election official. Land said no one other than those specified are allowed to return ballots.
When completing an absentee ballot, it is also important to know that building managers and staff cannot take possession of a person's ballot, unless they are handling it as part of their duties to collect that building's outgoing mail. It is also illegal to vote in a group setting. Residents should not attend any meeting at which the residents of their building or members of an organization to which they belong are being asked to vote at the same time.
Land encouraged anyone who believes these procedures are being violated to call the Michigan Bureau of Elections toll-free at 1-866-766-4355.
Residents with questions regarding absentee voting are encouraged to contact their local clerks. They may also visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.michigan.gov/vote. At the site, visitors can find contact information for their local clerk by clicking the "Find Your Clerk" button.
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