Voters still have time to register for Feb. 22 election

JANUARY 18, 2011Election News

Secretary Johnson encourages voter participation

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds residents that they have until Monday, Jan. 24 to register in order to vote in the Feb. 22 election.

"Registering to vote in a timely fashion is critical to the elections process and to ensure the integrity of every ballot," said Johnson, Michigan's chief election officer. "I encourage you to celebrate your freedom and support your community by registering and voting."

Of Michigan's 83 counties, 39 are holding elections. A list of communities holding elections can be found at

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 branch office. The mail-in form is on the Department of State Web site 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 on voting by absentee ballot, Michigan's voter identification requirement, using voting equipment and contacting their local clerk. In addition, they will find a map to their local polling place and a sample ballot.

Voters who qualify may choose to cast an absentee ballot on Election Day. 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 out of town 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. 19. Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 21. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, Feb. 21 must vote the ballot in the clerk's office. Residents should note that Feb. 21 is a national holiday, so many clerks' offices will be closed. Voters are encouraged to contact their clerk's office ahead of time if they anticipate the need to vote on Monday.

Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.

Residents are reminded of the voter identification requirement when at the polls on Election Day. They will be asked to present 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 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 another state
  • Federal or state government-issued photo identification
  • U.S. passport
  • 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

Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).


For media questions, please call Randall Thompson at 517-373-2520.

Related Links
> List of communities holding elections on Feb. 22
> Register to vote mail-in form
> Michigan Voter Information Center