Voter registration deadline nears for February presidential primary
JAN. 19, 2012
Secretary Johnson encourages participation in upcoming
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds residents that
they have until Monday, Jan. 30 to register in order to vote in the Feb. 28
presidential primary election.
"This year will present Michigan residents with important choices at the voting
booth, whether they're voting for president or local offices," said Johnson,
Michigan's chief election officer. "I encourage everyone who is not yet
registered to do so in order to participate in one of the foundations of our
democracy, and that is casting a ballot."
The polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
To register, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and be
U.S. citizens. Applicants must also be residents of Michigan and of the city or
township in which they wish to register.
Voters may register by mail, at their county, city or township clerk's office or
by visiting any Secretary of State office. The mail-in form is available at
First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first
election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60
years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and
Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.
To check their registration status, residents may visit the Michigan Voter
Information Center at
Residents can also find information there on absentee voting,
Michigan's voter identification requirement, how to use voting equipment and how
to contact their local clerk. In addition, they will find a map to their local
Voters who qualify may choose to cast 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 absent from the community in which you are registered
for the entire time the polls will be 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, Feb. 25. Absentee ballots can be
obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27. Voters who request
an absentee ballot in person on Monday, Feb. 27 must fill out the ballot in the
clerk's office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain
conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.
The February election, like all elections, is open to all registered voters.
Michigan does not require voters to register as a member or supporter of a
political party, so voters can choose to participate in either the Democratic or
Republican party primary. By state law, this is called a 'closed primary.' When
voters request an absentee ballot or arrive at the polls and fill out their
application to vote, they must indicate in which party's primary they wish to
vote. They will then receive a ballot listing candidates for that party. That
ballot will also contain any special election issues. Some communities will have
additional items on the ballot aside from the presidential primary election.
Sample ballots will be available online at
Note: The Aug. 7 primary will be an open primary, and voters will not be
required to formally indicate their choice for a specific political party
Voters who wish only to vote in the special election may request a ballot that
does not include presidential candidates.
As a reminder, voters will be asked to provide identification when at the polls
on Election Day. They will be asked to present valid photo ID, 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 to the polls can
still vote. They will be required to sign a brief affidavit stating that they're
not in possession of photo ID. Their ballots will be included with all others
and counted on Election Day.
Voters who don't have a Michigan driver's license or identification card can
show the following forms of photo ID, as long as they are current:
Driver's license or personal identification card issued by
Federal or state government-issued photo identification.
Military identification card with photo.
Student identification with photo from a high school or an
accredited institution of higher education, such as a college or university.
Tribal identification card with photo.
Additional election information can be found at
For more information about voting and the Secretary of State's Office, visit
www.Michigan.gov/SOS. Sign up for the official Twitter feed
and Facebook updates at
For media questions, please call Gisgie Dávila Gendreau at