Voting encouraged in local, school elections May 3
APRIL 29, 2011
Absentee ballots available for voters who qualify
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds residents to cast ballots in local elections Tuesday, May 3.
"Voting affords you an important opportunity to speak up regarding what's happening in your community," said Johnson, Michigan's chief elections officer. "I encourage everyone who is registered to cast a ballot Tuesday."
Local jurisdictions and school districts in 82 of Michigan's 83 counties will be conducting an election. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find out if there is an election in their community, voters can visit the Secretary of State website at www.Michigan.gov/sos or check with their county clerk's office. In addition, the Michigan Voter Information Center can help residents determine whether they're registered to vote and direct them to their polling location. The Web site is www.Michigan.gov/vote.
There is time for voters to obtain an absentee ballot. As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee ballot if you are:
- age 60 or older
- physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another
- expecting to be out of town for the entire time the polls are open 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.
Those who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30. Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through
4 p.m. Monday, May 2. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, May 2 must vote the ballot in the clerk's office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.
Residents who 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 voters who are overseas, disabled or 60 or older.
Absentee voters should remember to sign the return envelope. If a voter receives assistance in preparing the ballot, the signature of the person providing the assistance 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.
Voters are reminded of the identification requirement. They will be asked to present photo ID at the polls, such as a Michigan driver's license or identification card. Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or failed to bring it with them can still vote. They will sign a brief affidavit stating that they're not in possession of a photo ID. Their ballots will be included with all others and counted on Election Day.
A specially equipped voting station called the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal is also available at each polling location for use by voters with disabilities.
For more information about elections and other services, visit the Secretary of State website (www.Michigan.gov/sos) and sign up for official Secretary of State Twitter feeds (www.twitter.com/Michsos) and Facebook updates (www.facebook.com/Michigansos).
Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at (888) SOS-MICH (767-6424).
For media questions, please call Randall Thompson at 517-373-2520.