You must register to vote in Michigan in order to take part in that state’s electoral process. The voter registration process serves to protect the integrity of elections in Michigan by ensuring that all those who cast ballots for candidates are legally allowed to do so as proper residents of the country as well as the state, county, and/or city in which they take part in an election. One may register to vote by using a variety of locations and resources available to Michigan voters. Registering to vote may also be done through several other government departments in Michigan as well as through outlets provided by the United States Armed Forces.

Options include those to provide voter registration application materials online, via the internet, through the United States Postal Service, or by hand delivering the proper documentation and applications to physical locations. You may also register when getting a driver’s license at the Michigan Secretary of State locations.

Who can register to vote in Michigan?

Voter registration in Michigan demands that those seeking to take part in an election meet the state-mandated requirements. These requirements include the following:

  • You must be a citizen of the United States.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age by the day of the election in which you desire to vote.
  • You must be a resident of the state of Michigan.
  • You must also demonstrate legal residence in the city in which you are registering to vote.

Michigan provides online resources for voters to confirm that they are registered properly and eligible to participate in an election. This online portal also provides voter registration information such as polling places, the types of voting equipment being used, ballots, candidates, campaign finance and more.

Once answering ‘Where do I vote?’ in Michigan for yourself, you will need to provide proof of your identification at your polling place on election day. Various forms of identification are acceptable for this purpose and include the following:

Michigan Voter Registration Deadline

The deadline for registering to vote in any election in Michigan is at least 30 days prior to the day the election is held. For anyone unable to make it to the polls on election day, you may request an absentee ballot which must be received no later than two o’clock in the afternoon on the Saturday before the election takes place.

How to Register to Vote in Michigan

You may register to vote in Michigan using a variety of options available to you. However, Michigan does require voter registration to be completed either by sending your application via United States Postal Service or by delivering it in person to any number of outlets designated for that purpose. Among the various outlets where you can obtain applications for registration are:

  • Any local Secretary of State branch office.
  • The clerk’s office for your city or town.
  • Offices for state agencies which include the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Community Health, and the Department of Licensing and Community Affairs.
  • Military recruitment offices and centers.
  • Voter registration drives.
  • Michigan’s Secretary of State online portal.

Your voter registration and drivers license address must be the same according to Michigan’s laws. If the two differ, the Secretary of State’s office will change the address on your driver’s license or state ID card and mail you a sticker to affix to your document to reflect the change.

Early Voting in Michigan

Michigan does not permit early voting. Those who qualify may submit absentee ballots prior to election day, however.

Michigan Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-Of-State Residents

Michigan residents who wish to register to vote but who reside overseas or are serving in the United States Armed Forces may use the Federal Voting Assistance Program to do so. All that is required is that the proper application forms are filled out and returned to a Michigan election office by regular United States Postal Service, by email or by fax. The proper forms are required for each year you are living abroad or serving in the military.

Michigan Voter Registration for Absentee Voting

When asking yourself how to register to vote when not living in Michigan, you must meet the requirements to receive an absentee ballot.  Michigan residents may be eligible for an absentee ballot if they meet the following requirements:

  • Being 60 years of age at the time of the election entitles you to receive and absentee ballot to cast your vote.
  • Needing assistance at the polling station also qualifies you for an absentee ballot.
  • Being incarcerating or awaiting arraignment for a trial is also grounds for eligibility for an absentee ballot with which to cast your vote in an election.
  • Being out of town on election day fulfills the requirement for eligibility for absentee ballots as well.
  • A religious observance which prevents you from attending a polling station on election day also grants a voter the right to an absentee ballot.
  • Working as an election inspector in a precinct outside your own on election day is yet another qualifier for an absentee ballot.

How to Change Your Voter Registration in Michigan

You must change voter registration address information in Michigan each time you move to a new city or town within the state of Michigan. This can be accomplished by submitting the completed forms and voter registration application to your local township or city clerk’s office. You may also turn them in to a Michigan Secretary of State branch office, as well. New information may also be updated using the Secretary of State web portal.

Voter Registration Cards in Michigan

A voter registration card in Michigan is not required to cast a ballot. If you are in the correct polling station, your name and information appear on the rolls at that station. The card is strictly for your own information. You may ask for a replacement card if you lost or did not receive yours from your local city or town clerk.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 12 2019.

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