The web Browser you are currently using is unsupported, and some features of this site may not work as intended. Please update to a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge to experience all features Michigan.gov has to offer.
Vote on Election Day
Vote on Election Day
Voting on Election Day in Michigan
All registered voters in Michigan can vote at their polling place on Election Day.
Unregistered voters, or voters who have not updated their registration to their current address, must go to their local clerk’s office to register and may also vote at their clerk’s office using an absentee ballot.
Voting at a polling place
A polling place is a location where voting takes place on Election Day. At each polling place, election inspectors (i.e. poll workers) are available to assist voters and run elections.
Voters can visit their assigned polling place on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.
Before visiting a polling place: Voters should remember to do the following:
- Look up the location of their polling place to ensure it has not moved.
- Look up their registration status to ensure it is current.
- Bring their photo ID to the polls if they are in possession of one. Photo ID is not a requirement to vote in Michigan.
Are campaign materials, clothing or accessories allowed in a polling place?
No. Michigan law prohibits the following within 100 feet of a polling place:
- Campaigning for a candidate or ballot measure
- Wearing or bringing election- or campaign-related clothing or accessories
- Displaying or wearing candidate or election-related signage
- Bringing election, campaign, or partisan materials into a polling place
- Requesting signatures for or signing petitions
What is voter intimidation, and what if I experience it at my polling place?
It is unlawful for a person to attempt, through menace or other means, to influence another person in how to vote, or to deter or interrupt another person in voting at an election. Federal statute prohibits threatening, intimidating, and coercing voters.
Voter intimidation may include:
- People who aren't poll workers or election administrators asking for personal documentation
- Photographing or videotaping voters at an early voting site, a polling place, a clerk’s office, or a ballot drop box
- Disseminating false or misleading election information
- Blocking the entrance to a polling place, early voting site, clerk’s office, or ballot drop box
- Directly questioning voters
Individuals witnessing or experiencing voter intimidation should report it at their polling place to an election worker, or to their local clerk. You may also contact the voter protection hotline at:
- English: 866-OUR-VOTE / (866) 687-8683
- Spanish: 888-VE-Y-VOTA / (888) 839-8682
- Arabic: 844-YALLA-US / (844) 925-5287
- Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Urdu, and Vietnamese: 888-API-VOTE / (888) 274-8683
Are firearms allowed in a polling place?
For information on firearms in a polling place, please review the 2022 Secretary of State guidance on Current Voter Intimidation and Firearm Laws.
In February 2023, House Bill 4127 was introduced to prohibit possession of firearms within 100 feet of a polling place and early voting locations. The bill also prohibits someone from possessing a firearm within 100 feet of an absentee voter ballot drop box for 40 days before an election, with limited exceptions, including for uniformed law enforcement. The legislation is currently pending.
Are election observers allowed in a polling place?
Yes. Election observers are allowed in polling places to observe the voting process as permitted by Michigan Election Law. Election observers are not election workers and may not assist voters. Local clerks do not hire election observers.
Types of election observers include:
- Election challengers: A non-governmental volunteer, typically appointed by a political party or interest group to observe elections. Challengers must display credentials from an approved credentialing organization such as a political party eligible to appear on the ballot.
- Poll watchers: A non-governmental volunteer who is not credentialed by an approved credentialing organization. A poll watcher's duties are strictly limited to observing from the public viewing area. They may not issue challenges or interrupt the voting process.
Voter ID in Michigan
Voters are not required to possess a photo ID to vote in Michigan. Voters without a photo ID may sign an affidavit and will be issued a ballot.
Voting at a polling place with a photo ID
By law, voters in possession of a photo ID must present it at the polls.
A photo ID presented at a polling place does not need to have the voter’s address on it. The name on the identification card can be a shorter form of the voter’s full name. For example, "Bill" for "William" and "Kathy" for "Katherine" are acceptable.
- Driver’s license or state ID card issued by Michigan or another state
- Federal, state, or local government-issued photo ID
- U.S. passport
- Military photo ID card
- Student photo ID card from an educational institution
- Tribal photo ID card
- Local or county issued government ID
- Concealed Pistol license
Voting at a polling place without a photo ID
If a voter does not have photo ID, or if they forgot to bring their photo ID with them, they can still cast a ballot simply by signing an affidavit stating the voter is not in possession of a valid photo ID. Once the affidavit is signed, they may cast a ballot, and it will be counted with all other ballots on Election Day.
Additional questions regarding the voter identification requirement can be directed to your local city or township clerk’s office.
What if my ID is expired?
If a voter’s photo ID or driver’s license is expired, it cannot be used as a valid form of photo ID. To vote, a voter would be required to sign an affidavit stating the voter is not in possession of a valid photo ID.
What if my ID lists an outdated address?
As part of Michigan’s automatic voter registration law, when a registered voter updates their voter registration address, the voter’s driver’s license or state ID address is also updated.
To update voter registration, voters must “re-register” using updated information. Please view the voter registration section for options on how to register. Deadlines for voter registration also apply to individuals updating their voter registration.
How do I submit a change of address for my voter registration?
Under Michigan's automatic voter registration law, when a voter updates the address on their voter registration, their address on their driver's license or state ID will also be updated. Additionally, if a change of address for a license or state ID is submitted to the Michigan Department of State, the address on the voter's voter registration will also be updated.
Voting at a clerk’s office on Election Day
Eligible voters who are not currently registered to vote in Michigan, or who have not updated their registration with a current Michigan address, have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to visit their local clerk’s office to register to vote or update their registration address.
To vote, they may either request an absentee ballot and vote at their clerk's office or go to their polling place to vote if time allows. So long as an eligible, unregistered resident is in line at their clerk’s office by 8 p.m., they may register to vote and cast an absentee ballot.
If I’m currently registered to vote, can I request an absentee ballot on Election Day?
No, if the voter is already registered to vote at their current address, they are not eligible to request an absentee ballot on Election Day. In emergency situations only, a voter may apply for an absentee ballot from their local clerk's office as late as 4 p.m. on Election Day.
Emergency voting on Election Day
If an emergency or unexpected circumstance occurs that prevents a voter from reaching the polls on Election Day, they may request an emergency absentee ballot.
Requirements: The emergency must have occurred at a time which made it impossible for the voter to apply for a regular absentee ballot. Voters should contact their local clerk’s office immediately to request an emergency ballot.
Emergency circumstances may include, but are not limited to:
- A sudden illness
- A death in the family
- Being arrested
Deadline: Requests for an emergency absentee ballot must be submitted in writing to the local clerk no later than 4 p.m. on Election Day.
The clerk may deliver an emergency ballot to the applicant in person, through a deputy or an election assistant, or a person named by the applicant may pick up the ballot at the clerk's office. The voter should return the completed ballot in the sealed envelope provided and deliver it to the clerk's office in any manner the voter sees fit. To be valid, the ballot must be returned to the clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Challenged and provisional ballots
A ballot is considered challenged or provisional when there is a need for more information from the voter in order to verify their eligibility to vote. Further information on each type of ballot is provided in this section.
If a voter’s ballot is designated as challenged or provisional at their polling place, at a clerk’s office, or at an absent voter counting board, the voter will be notified by election inspectors or their local clerk.
Voters can track the status of their ballot by visiting Michigan.gov/Vote.
What if my ballot is challenged, or I receive a challenge to my eligibility?
Election challengers, who are election observers, have the right to issue a challenge to a voter's eligibility to vote at the polls. The challenge must be based on good reason to suspect a violation of election law has occurred, usually based on prior knowledge about a voter's ineligibility.
Challengers may not issue a challenge for the purpose of delaying the voting process, based on race or appearance of a voter, or based on political affiliation or the voter’s ballot selection.
A permissible challenge will be examined further by election workers and the local clerk. This process may require the voter to confirm certain information to verify their eligibility under oath at their polling place. If a voter confirms their eligibility under oath, they will be issued a ballot that is marked as challenged. The voter may also need to take additional steps after voting to verify their eligibility and will be contacted by their local clerk with instructions.
If a voter whose eligibility is permissibly challenged refuses to take the oath or answer questions designed to verify the voter’s eligibility, the challenge is accepted, and the voter cannot cast a ballot.
What if I’m issued a provisional ballot?
A provisional ballot is a ballot requiring additional steps or information to confirm a voter’s eligibility to vote before the ballot can be counted.
A provisional ballot may be issued to a voter at a polling place if:
- Their name does not appear on the list at the polling place.
- They are at the wrong polling location.
- They are voting for the first time and are unable to provide a valid form of identification.
After casting a provisional ballot, a voter has 6 days to provide appropriate ID documentation to their city or township clerk.
If election officials can verify that a voter is registered to vote in the appropriate jurisdiction, the provisional ballot will count. A provisional ballot is rejected if a voter is not registered to vote or failed to provide proper identification and proof of residency.