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Secretary Benson reminds voters of new rights ahead of May 7 election

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is reminding voters of new rights ahead of the Tuesday, May 7, election and encouraging Michiganders to take advantage of new voting opportunities thanks to the passage of Proposal 3 last November.

“The May 7 election will be the first time Michigan citizens can take advantage of the sweeping new voting rights instilled in our constitution as a result of the Promote the Vote constitutional amendment enacted last fall,” Benson said. “Now any citizen can vote by mail at their convenience and register to vote up to and on Election Day at their local clerk’s office. It’s a new day for Michigan’s democracy.”

Of Michigan’s 83 counties, 65 will hold elections Tuesday, May 7. To find out if your community is holding an election, visit Polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Individuals may register to vote up until 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you aren’t registered, or need to update your address, you may do so by appearing in person at your city or township clerk’s office and providing proof of residency.

To register to vote, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and U.S. citizens. Applicants also must be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register for at least 30 days before Election Day.

All eligible and registered voters in Michigan may request an absentee ballot without providing a reason and vote early. Drop off your ballot application in person at your township or city clerk’s office no later than 4 p.m. Monday, May 6, and you will be given an absentee ballot that you can vote in the office.

You also can mail the ballot application. Requests to have a ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk no later than 5 p.m. Friday, May 3. If you get your absentee ballot by mail, you can return it by mail or in person, but it must be received by your city or township clerk by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, (Election Day) to count. Keep in mind that USPS mail delivery standards indicate most mail can take up to a week to arrive – so delivering ballot requests and voted ballots is best done in person at this point. Get an absentee ballot application at

For those communities holding an election Tuesday, May 7, city and township clerks’ offices will be open this weekend to assist voters with registering to vote and voting absentee early. Office hours vary by community, so check information for your city or township clerk online at or contact your local clerk’s office directly.

For more information, download the New Rights for Michigan Voters flyer at

To check your registration status, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at You can view a sample ballot and find your polling place. You also can find information about how to use voting equipment and how to contact your local clerk.

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Media Contact: Shawn Starkey -