What You Need to Know About Absentee Voting
Absentee voter ballots are available for all elections. They provide voters
with a convenient method for casting a ballot when they are unable to attend the
polls on election day.
As a registered voter,
you may obtain an absentee voter ballot if you are:
- 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.
A person who registers to vote by mail must vote in person in the first
election in which he or she participates. The restriction does not apply to
overseas voters, voters who are disabled or voters who are 60 years of age or
older. (Voting in person on one governmental level clears the restriction on the
other levels. For example, if a voter subject to the restriction votes in person
at a school election, the voter would be free to obtain an absentee ballot for
the first state election in which he or she wishes to participate.)
Requesting an Absentee Voter Ballot
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
http://www.Michigan.gov/vote) Your request must include one of the six
statutory reasons stated above and your signature. You must request an absentee
voter ballot by mailing the application,
a letter, a postcard, or a pre-printed application form obtained from 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
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 which 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.