Advance Notice: Briefs

Vote-by-mail applications will be sent to all Michiganders for 2020 elections

By: - May 19, 2020 12:46 pm

Michigan ballot | Susan J. Demas

All Michiganders who are registered to vote will be receiving an application to vote by mail for the August and November elections to meet public health concerns.

“By mailing applications, we have ensured that no Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “Voting by mail is easy, convenient, safe, and secure, and every voter in Michigan has the right to do it.”

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Dec. 12, 2019 | Laina G. Stebbins

For the May 5 election, 99% of voters casted their ballots by mail or in a drop box amid the COVID-19 crisis. The May election also had a record-breaking turnout in the approximately 50 elections held across 33 counties, with almost 25% of eligible voters participating. 

From 2010 to 2019, average turnout in local elections in May was 12%.

“The vast majority of voters across the political spectrum want the option to vote by mail,” said Benson. “Mailing applications to all registered voters is one of the ways that we are ensuring Michigan’s elections will continue to be safe, accurate and secure.”

Of the 7.7 million registered voters in the state, about 1.3 million are already on the permanent absentee voter list.

Once a voter signs their application for the upcoming elections, they can mail it or email a photo of it to their local clerk. The application is also available for download here

Additionally, some jurisdictions are mailing applications to all local registered voters. The Michigan Department of State Bureau of Elections has ensured all remaining registered voters receive an application.

“We appreciate that some clerks are proactively protecting public health by mailing applications to all their registered voters, and we are fulfilling our responsibility to provide all voters equal access,” said Benson. “We know from the elections that took place this month that during the pandemic Michiganders want to safely vote.”

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.