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Military and overseas voting

  • If a United States citizen who has never resided in the United States would like to register to vote in Michigan, they may do so if they have a parent, legal guardian, or spouse who last resided in Michigan, provided that the prospective registered voter and/or their relative has not since registered or voted in another state. Citizens meeting this criteria must register to vote in the municipality where their relative last resided in Michigan.

  • Yes, Michiganders abroad may request an absentee ballot be sent to them overseas either by downloading and completing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, fvap.gov, to return to their local clerk’s office in Michigan, or by completing the online absentee ballot application at Michigan.gov/Vote. They are also able to download an absentee ballot application from Michigan.gov/Vote to complete and return to their local clerk’s office.

    Overseas Michigan voters who return their absentee ballot application online at Michigan.gov/Vote or submit an absentee ballot application instead of a FPCA application must contact their local clerk’s office after submitting their application to make clear they are a military or overseas voter.

    Please note, absentee ballot applications must be received no later than 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in order to receive an absentee ballot to vote in the Nov. 3 general election.

  • While Michigan voters serving overseas or living abroad can elect to receive their absentee ballot electronically by email, online, or by fax, all completed absentee ballots must be returned by postal mail under current Michigan law. Guidance on mailing a completed absentee ballot from an overseas address is available at fvap.gov.

  • Michiganders who are eligible to register to vote while overseas may do so through the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, fvap.gov, to download and complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). In returning this postcard to the local clerk for their municipality of residence in Michigan by email or mail, they will be registered to vote and will receive an absentee ballot by email, fax, or postal mail.

    To locate contact information for all local Michigan clerks, please visit Michigan.gov/Vote.

  • Pursuant to state law, all absentee ballot received by 8 p.m. Nov. 3 with a matching signature will be tabulated. As such, the Michigan Department of State advises that Michigan voters overseas request and return their absentee ballot as early as possible. To securely track an absentee ballot and ensure it is received, voters should visit Michigan.gov/Vote.

    Last updated Oct. 27, 2020

  • Any registered Michigan voter serving or living abroad who has registered and requested to vote by absentee ballot anytime after Nov. 5, 2019, will automatically be sent an absent voter ballot ahead of the Nov. 3, 2020, general election. Those who have not yet requested to receive an absentee ballot may do so by downloading and completing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, fvap.gov, to return to their local clerk’s office in Michigan via email, mail, or by fax.

    Overseas voters can verify their Michigan voter registration information and confirm whether they are registered to receive an absentee ballot ahead of the Nov. 3 election may do so by visiting Michigan.gov/Vote. Here, voters can track the status of their absentee ballot application and mailing of their absentee ballot, as well as view contact information for their local clerk’s office in the event follow up is required.

    Please note, absentee ballot applications must be received no later than 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in order to receive an absentee ballot to vote in the Nov. 3 general election.

  • Registered Michigan voters serving or living abroad can request an absentee ballot be sent to them by email, fax, or postal mail by downloading and completing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, fvap.gov. Once completed, voters should mail, fax, or scan and email their FPCA application to their local clerk’s office serving their municipality where they are a resident in Michigan.

    To avoid the potential for postal delays, to request an absentee ballot ahead of the Nov. 3 election, the Michigan Department of State advises that Michigan voters overseas return their FPCA application to their local clerk’s office by email or fax, rather than by mail in order to receive their absentee ballot in time.

    Once an absentee ballot application has been submitted, voters can securely track the status of their absentee ballot application and mailing of their absentee ballot online at Michigan.gov/Vote.

    Please note, absentee ballot applications must be received no later than 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in order to receive an absentee ballot to vote in the Nov. 3 general election.

  • Registered Michigan voters serving overseas and living abroad are subject to the same signature verification requirements as Michigan voters casting their vote by absentee ballot within the United States. A voter’s signature must exactly match their recorded signature in the Qualified Voter File (e-signature on their driver’s license or state ID card or secondary verified signature) in order to be issued an absentee ballot or register to vote.

    Additionally, as is the case for all Michigan voters, only one ballot may be tabulated for a military or overseas voter. Michigan’s election system has a robust structure of checks and procedures to ensure no Michigan voter is able to cast a ballot twice.

  • Military servicemembers, their families, and civilians overseas who are registered Michigan voters and are concerned they may not receive their absentee ballot in time may complete a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) and return to their local clerk’s office by mail. The FWAB is available online at fvap.gov. The FWAB will also serve as voter registration for Michiganders abroad who are eligible to register to vote and request an absent voter ballot.

    If both the FWAB and the requested absentee ballot are returned to the clerk in time, only the requested ballot will be counted.

    Overseas voters can download a FWAB and view instructions on completing and returning the write-in absentee ballot by visiting the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, fvap.gov. Write-in absentee ballots must be returned by mail to a voter’s local clerk’s office.

    Please note, all write-in absentee ballots received by 8 p.m. Nov. 3 with a matching signature will be counted.

    Last updated Oct. 27, 2020