What is the guidance in the event of an emergency if a voter is hospitalized or forced to quarantine before they have the opportunity to vote?

Michigan law permits the issuance of an emergency absentee ballot after 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, and before 4 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, if a voter suddenly becomes ill or has a death in the family that made them unable to request an absentee ballot in person after 5 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2020, or vote in person on Election Day.

In the event of an emergency, if a voter would like to utilize this option, they must contact their local city or township clerk directly, in writing, to request an emergency absent voter ballot application. The letter or application form provided by the clerk’s office must provide the following in writing:

  • Verify that the voter is registered and qualified to vote
  • Verify the voter is legally authorized to apply for an emergency absentee ballot
  • State the reason why the voter was not able to return an absentee ballot application before the mandated deadline.
  • Designate an individual to retrieve and/or return the absent voter ballot [if applicable].

Once a voter’s local clerk has verified the validity of their emergency absentee ballot application, a deputized election official or local clerk can deliver the voter’s emergency absentee ballot in person - if not required to leave the city of township, or the voter may designate an individual authorized with the local clerk’s office to retrieve and deliver their absentee ballot on their behalf.  

State law allows the voter to return their completed, signed, and sealed emergency absentee ballot by any means necessary, provided that the ballot is valid, includes the voter’s matching signature, and is received by the voter’s local clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3. 


Last updated Oct. 22, 2020