Voting Rights: Returning Citizens

Returning citizens - You can vote!

Eligibility Requirements

You can register to vote and vote if you are:

  • A resident of Michigan in your city or township for at least 30 days before Election Day
  • A United States citizen
  • Not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison
  • At least 18 years old (by Election Day) 

In Michigan, you can vote if:

  • You have a past criminal conviction
  • You were formerly incarcerated
  • You are currently in jail awaiting a sentence or awaiting trial
  • You are on probation
  • You are on mandatory supervision
  • You are on post-release community supervision
  • You are on federal supervised release
  • You have a juvenile wardship adjudication

The only Michiganders impacted by the justice system who cannot vote are those currently serving a sentence in jail or prison. 

How to Register to Vote

If you are Michigan citizen in jail but are not currently serving a sentence, you are eligible to register and vote.  

You may apply to register to vote on the Secretary of State’s website through our online portal at or by paper application.

Your voter registration application must be received or postmarked at least fourteen (14) days before the election or register on Election day at your local clerks office.  

The voter registration deadline is 15 days before Election Day if submitted through any method but your city or township clerk. You can register any time up through Election Day by going to your city or township clerk office with residency verification.

Proof of residency if registering within two weeks of Election: 

To register to vote you must be a resident of Michigan for at least 30 days. If you register within 14 days of Election Day you must show documented proof of where you live to your local or township clerk during in person registration. Documents must have your name and current address. You can show a digital copy of documents. Acceptable documents include:

  • Michigan driver’s license or state ID
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck or government check
  • Other government document

Vote by Mail

Voting by mail is an option for all voters! You have an opportunity to apply for an absent voter ballot application at when there are 75 days before an election or anytime by paper application. Once you receive your vote-by-mail ballot application, you must complete and return it to your local clerk’s office.

If you are not registered to vote at your current home address, you may register or re-register to vote and request a vote-by-mail ballot on the Secretary of State’s website

Release from Custody

If you requested a vote-by-mail ballot but are released from custody before you receive your ballot, you can still vote. Contact your local or township clerk for next steps. 

If you change and information on your voter registration like name or address you must complete a new voter registration application at your local clerks office and providing documentation supporting the change.


You can vote! Returning Citizens PDF


Department Initiatives 

Press release: Michigan Departments of State, Corrections, Partner on Returning Citizens Initiative