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Early Voting and Other Election Changes

Recent amendments to the Michigan Constitution and statutory enactments have resulted in many new election-related rights and requirements, including:

  • creating a nine-day early voting period during which voters may appear at a designated location to cast a ballot;
  • requiring that military and overseas ballots postmarked by election day are counted;
  • providing voters with a right to request an absentee ballot without needing to provide a reason;
  • requiring the state to fund prepaid stamps and a tracking system for absentee ballots;
  • if a local clerk determines that a voter’s signature on their absent voter ballot application or absent voter ballot envelope either does not match their signature on file or is missing from that application or return envelope, the voter “has a right to be notified immediately and afforded due process, including an equitable opportunity to correct the issue with the signature;”
  • requiring that all jurisdictions install one or more absentee ballot drop boxes in which voters can deposit applications for an absentee ballot and absentee ballots, and requiring monitoring of the drop boxes where applicable;
  • providing that election officials are responsible for election audits, requiring election audits to be conducted in public, and requiring election results to be certified based on votes cast;
  • requiring automatic registration of persons applying for, updating or renewing a driver's license or state-issued personal identification card, unless the person declines to register to vote;
  • requiring jurisdictions to allow same-day registration and voting with proof of residency during the 2-week period prior to an election, up to and including Election Day;
  • Cast a straight-ticket vote for all candidates of a particular political party when voting in a partisan general election.