Voters encouraged to cast ballots in presidential primary

FEBRUARY 29, 2016Election News

Some communities also have local issues on ballot

LANSING, Mich. - Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today urged all qualified Michigan voters to participate in the presidential primary election on Tuesday, March 8 and reminded them of what to expect in their polling place.

“This election offers you the opportunity to speak out on who may next lead our nation,” said Johnson, Michigan’s chief elections officer. “I encourage you to make your voice heard on Election Day.”

At the polling place, voters will be asked to select a presidential primary ballot for either the Democratic or Republican parties that also may contain local election items. Voters who do not wish to participate in the presidential primary may receive a ballot that contains only local items.

The presidential primary is open to all registered voters. There is no political party registration requirement in Michigan, so voters can choose to participate in either the Democratic or Republican party primary.

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Additional information regarding Michigan’s presidential primary can be found at

To obtain a sample ballot, determine whether you’re registered to vote and find your polling place, you can visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at

There is still time for voters to obtain 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 out of town for the entire time the polls are 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.

Voters who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5 and must indicate their political party ballot choice in writing (Republican ballot; Democratic ballot; or ballot without presidential primary, for jurisdictions with local issues on the ballot). Absentee ballots can be obtained in person from the voter’s local clerk anytime through 4 p.m. Monday, March 7. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, March 7, must vote the ballot in the clerk’s office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.

Residents who registered to vote by mail or as part of a voter registration drive and have never voted in Michigan are not eligible to vote by absentee ballot in their first election. They must vote in person at their precinct. This restriction does not apply to voters who are overseas, disabled, or aged 60 or older.

Voters are reminded of Michigan’s photo identification requirement. They will be asked to present photo ID at the polls, 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 can still vote. If the voter does not have a photo ID, the voter may sign a brief affidavit attesting to their identity. Their ballots will be included with all others and counted on Election Day.

A specially equipped voting station called the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal is also available at each polling location for use by voters with disabilities.


For media questions, please call Gisgie Dávila Gendreau
or Fred Woodhams at 517-373-2520.

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