Advance Notice: Briefs

Preparing for the primary: How to register to vote and request your absentee ballot

By: - July 6, 2022 1:46 pm

Women make up 56% of Michigan’s early voters up to this point with men accounting for 44%, according to the United States Elections Project. John McCosh/States Newsroom

With less than four weeks until Aug. 2 statewide primary election, voters still have time to register to vote and cast their ballot. 

Michigan residents can register to vote online until July 18. They can also register to vote at their local clerk’s office through 8 p.m. on Election Day. 

A valid Michigan driver license or state ID can be used to register online.

Anyone registering to vote on Election Day will need to bring proof of eligibility and residency in order to register. In order to be eligible to vote in Michigan, you must be a Michigan resident at the time of registration and a resident of the city or township where you are voting for at least 30 days when you cast your ballot. Anyone currently serving a jail or prison sentence cannot register to vote in Michigan. 

In order to show proof of residency when registering, applicants can show their Michigan driver license or state ID; a current utility bill; a bank statement; a paycheck or government check; or another government document. Documents must show your name and current address. Digital copies will be accepted, according to the Michigan Voter Information Center.  

Michiganders who are already registered to vote can apply for an absentee ballot online or at their local clerk’s office. The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office recommends voters request their ballot by July 18 to avoid mailing delays. Voters who request their ballot in person at their clerk’s office can fill out their ballot and submit it in the same visit. 

Upon receiving an absentee ballot, the Secretary of State says to complete the ballot, sign the back of the envelope, and mail it or drop it off at their local clerk’s office or drop box as soon as possible. 

Ballots must be received by the city and township clerk by 8 p.m. Election Day. The Michigan Secretary of State recommends hand delivering your ballot if you are returning it within two weeks of the election, to avoid postal delays. 

Voters can check the status of their ballot online at Michigan.gov/vote, or by calling their local election clerk.  

As of Tuesday, more than 876,000 Michiganders have requested an absentee ballot, according to the Secretary of State, with 61,134 of those ballots already returned.

Warren has seen most absentee ballots returned at 2,992, followed by Sterling Heights (2,336), Livonia (2,354), Clinton Township (2,115) and Westland at 1,782 ballots returned. 

There are currently more than 8 million registered voters in Michigan with 1,725 new registrants as of Tuesday. 

“Voters have options in Michigan and, however you cast your ballot, you can have confidence that every vote will be counted securely and your voice will be heard in your community,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Polls for in person voting will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 2. For a sample ballot, information on how to use voting equipment or info on how to contact your local clerk, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at Michigan.gov/vote.

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Kyle Davidson
Kyle Davidson

Kyle Davidson is a reporting intern for the Michigan Advance. A recent MSU graduate, Kyle studied journalism and political science. He has reported on community events, breaking news, state policy, and the environment for outlets including the Lansing State Journal, the Detroit Free Press and Capital News Service.

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