Secretary of State outlines voter identification policies

Image: Election Tools


To ensure an orderly introduction of the state's voter ID law, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land today released instructional materials to Michigan's election officials designed to aid them with the implementation of the requirement.

Beginning with the Nov. 6 election, voters will be asked to show a photo ID - or sign a form stating that they don't have one - before receiving a ballot. The requirements are the result of a 1996 law recently determined to be enforceable by the Michigan Supreme Court.

"We are working closely with local election officials to ensure they have the tools and information they need to effectively communicate the requirement to their election day workers so they can properly serve the voters," said Land, Michigan's chief election officer.

"The law recognizes that people have different circumstances. Those who have no ID, or simply forgot to bring it to the polls, can still vote. By working together to understand the voter ID law, we can all look forward to a smooth, orderly experience on Election Day."

Election workers will ask voters to show a photo ID as part of the usual ballot application process at the polls. Voters can satisfy the requirement by showing a Michigan driver's license or Michigan personal identification card.

Voters who do not possess either document can show any of the following forms of picture ID as long as the documents are current:

  • Driver's license or personal identification card issued by another state
  • Federal or state government-issued photo identification
  • U.S. passport
  • Military ID with photo
  • Student identification with photo from a high school or accredited institution of higher learning
  • Tribal identification card with photo

The ID must include the person's photo and name. It does not have to include a residential address.

Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID can still vote. They merely sign a brief form stating that they are not in possession of identification. Their ballots are included with all others and are counted on Election Day.

Land emphasized that voters cannot be challenged by an election inspector or poll challenger just because they sign the form. Any challenge to a voter who signs the form, as is the case with all voters, must be because the inspector or challenger has "good reason to believe" that the person is not qualified to vote in the precinct.

The state Bureau of Elections is conducting comprehensive training on the voter ID law for local election officials statewide.

"We must not only exercise our sacred right to vote but protect it as well," said Land. "Michigan's voter ID law adds another layer of security that ensures the integrity of our elections."

Visit for more information about Michigan elections.