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Register to vote

  • Yes, returning citizens and individuals with a felony or misdemeanor conviction can register to vote in Michigan as long as they are not actively serving a sentence in jail or prison. Michiganders detained pretrial or pre-sentencing can also register to vote.

  • Yes, students attending a college or university in Michigan can register to vote in Michigan. Michiganders attending a college or university outside of Michigan can also register to vote in Michigan. Please visit the student voter page for more information.

  • Organizations interested in registering voters using a customized registration form directly on their website may wish to set up an application programming interface (API). Groups with electronic voter registration programs can now securely connect to the online voter registration system through an API, which allows data to be transferred securely.

    Organizations may also set up a unique URL linking to the state’s online voter registration application. This unique URL will allow organizations to track the number of registrations made through the link.

    Organizations interested in using the API to register voters through the state’s online voter registration portal can do so after completing a security review and working to ensure compatibility with the state’s platform. Those unable to use the API can instead obtain a unique URL to share with those registering to direct them to Michigan’s online voter registration website.

    For more information about the API process, please email Elections@Michigan.gov.

     

    View printable voter registration applications

  • When someone dies, their death record information is sent to the Social Security Administration and added to the Master Death Index. Based on listings of deceased individuals from the Social Security Administration and in the Master Death Index Report, the Michigan Department of State cancels the matching voter registrations.

    County clerks also inform city or township clerks when they process death records for an individual registered to vote in that city or township. Although the vast majority of these deceased individuals are also identified through the Master Death Index, county clerks quite often can inform municipal clerks before notice arrives from the Michigan Department of State. This is useful in the days leading up to elections, to allow the registrations of voters who become deceased to be canceled more quickly.

    City or Township clerks can also cancel registrations when they have personal knowledge and official documentation that a registered voter has died. For example, the city or township clerk may have an obituary, local death notice, or a written notification from next of kin.

    Michigan also receives information from the ERIC program about Michigan voters who have died.

    There are additional inactive registrations in the registered voter database, the Qualified Voter File (QVF), for voters who may have died or moved, but for whom death or residency information was never received by election officials. If an election official receives returned undeliverable mail for these individuals, the registration will be canceled two federal election cycles after the notification is sent unless the voter responds or has voting activity.

  • Michigan’s list of registered voters is maintained on the Qualified Voter File, a database developed by the state of Michigan and maintained by municipal and county clerks and the Bureau of Elections. The Qualified Voter File contains the names of all individuals registered to vote in Michigan. It also contains the names of individuals with canceled registrations, who are no longer eligible to vote in Michigan. The Qualified Voter File is constantly updated whenever a new voter registers, a voter updates his or her registration information (such as an address), or a voter’s registration is canceled.

    Voter registrations are cancelled primarily for one of four reasons:

    • A voter moves away from their voting jurisdiction.
    • A voter dies.
    • A voter registration is identified as a duplicate.
    • A voter requests that his or her registration be canceled.

    Learn more about voter registration procedures

     

     
  • Voters can check their voter registration status and make sure their information is up to date at Michigan.gov/Vote or by calling or visiting their city or township clerk. Find your local clerk information at Michigan.gov/Vote.

  • Voters who register to vote on Election Day have the following options to cast a ballot:

    • Request an absentee ballot at their clerk’s office immediately after registering to vote. The voter will be issued a ballot to complete and submit on the spot.
    • Visit their assigned polling place to cast a ballot. Polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day.

    So long as an eligible resident is in line at their clerk’s office by 8 p.m., they may register to vote and cast an absentee ballot. Similarly, if a newly registered voter is in line to vote at their polling place by 8 p.m., they may cast a ballot.

     

    Learn more about how to vote in Michigan

    Lookup your clerk’s office

  • In Michigan, there is no age, citizenship or residency requirement to run or assist with a voter registration drive.

    Voter registration drives may not compensate individuals registering persons to vote based on the total number of persons registered, or the total number of persons registered to vote in a particular political party. Violation of this provision of Michigan law is a felony.

    Voter registration drives may not compensate individuals or provide any incentive considered “payment” for registering to vote or for voting. Violation of this provision of Michigan law is a felony.

    Individuals registering persons to vote may not fill in any missing or incomplete information on a registration form themselves.

  • Upon receipt of an eligible voter’s registration application, clerks will process the application and the applicant’s name will be added to the Qualified Voter File, the official list of registered voters in Michigan. The applicant will then be sent a voter information card. This card contains useful information for voters but is not required to vote.

  • Voters who have moved to a new address in Michigan should update their voter registration address. To do this, voters must “re-register” using updated information by selecting one of the registration options listed in this section (in person, by mail, or online). Deadlines for voter registration also apply to individuals updating their voter registration.

    As part of Michigan’s automatic voter registration law, when a registered voter updates their voter registration address, the voter’s Michigan driver’s license or Michigan state ID address is also updated. Similarly, when a registered voter updates their Michigan driver's license or Michigan state ID address, their voter registration address will also be updated.

    Voters have moved out of state and wish to cancel their registration can make a written request to their city or township clerk that their registration record be canceled.

     

    Lookup your clerk’s office

  • If a voter receives a notice of cancellation in the mail for their own voter registration, they can respond to the notification by mail or online in one of the following ways:

    • Request their voter registration be canceled.
    • Update their voter registration.
    • Vote or request an absent voter ballot. This will keep a voter’s voter registration active and the record will not be canceled.
    • Do nothing. By not responding and not voting in upcoming elections, the voter registration will be canceled.

    If an individual’s registration has been canceled but they still want to vote in Michigan, they will need to re-register using one of the registration options listed in the voter registration section. Deadlines for voter registration also apply to individuals re-registering.

  • Welcome to Michigan! New residents can register to vote and must be a resident of their city or township for at least 30 days by Election Day to vote in that election.

    In general, voters do not need a photo ID to register to vote, however, some first-time registrants who register to vote by mail may need to provide some form of ID.

    For more information, visit our first-time voters page.

  • Military and overseas voters who are Michigan residents can register to vote. Please visit the military and veterans voter page for more information.

  • A satellite clerk's office is an office that offers services at an alternate location to the main clerk’s office, and is run by the local clerk and their staff. Satellite offices expand access to voter information and resources locally in communities across Michigan.

    Satellite offices are typically located in densely populated areas or on university campuses. Opening a satellite office is left to the discretion of local clerks, and hours of operation of a satellite office may differ from the hours of the main clerk’s office.

    Voters may contact their local clerk or look up their voter information online at Michigan.gov/Vote to learn if their jurisdiction offers a satellite office.

     

    Look up your clerk’s office

    Look up your voter information

  • Michigan receives information from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a bipartisan group of states and Washington, DC, who share voter registration data with each other for the purpose of keeping voter rolls complete, up to date, and accurate.

    When Michigan receives information through the ERIC program that a voter has registered in another state more recently than their activity in Michigan, the Bureau of Elections uses this as initial information that the voter may have moved. The Bureau sends a notice of cancellation to the voter’s address in Michigan. After the notice is sent, the voter must present the necessary updated documentation to be able to vote. If the voter does not present necessary eligibility documentation, the voter will remain inactive until the cancellation occurs.

    If the voter does not have any voting activity in Michigan by the second even-year federal election following the notice, the voter's Michigan voter registration is canceled.

  • There are a few formats for registering voters during a drive, as listed in the Registering to Vote section. The most popular methods for voter registration drives are printed voter registration applications and online voter registration.

    Printed applications are available in several languages, as well as a large print option. Individuals registering persons to vote may not fill in any missing or incomplete information on a registration form themselves. All completed applications must be received by a local clerk’s office, or postmarked if mailed, at least 15 days prior to Election Day. Be sure to look up a voter’s address to ensure the application is sent to the correct clerk’s office.

    For more tips on running a successful voter registration drive, check out these nonpartisan voter registration drive guides:

  • Voter registration statistics, including a list of registered voters by county and the total number of inactive voter registrations to be canceled in future years, are available at the following link.

    View voter registration statistics