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Secretary Benson reminds voters of new rights ahead of Aug. 6 election
JULY 26, 2019
Citizens can register through Election Day, vote early
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson encourages voters to learn more about their new rights ahead of the Tuesday, Aug. 6, election thanks to the passage of the Promote the Vote state constitutional amendment last November.
The changes include allowing all registered voters to vote by mail at their convenience and for citizens to register to vote up to and on Election Day at their local clerk’s office. Although the changes were in effect for the May election, not all communities held elections so the changes may be new to some residents.
“The people of Michigan amended the state constitution last fall to give all voters the convenient option of voting early by absentee ballot without a reason. The amendment also allows people to still register to vote even on Election Day and makes other improvements that strengthen our democracy,” Benson said. “If your community is holding an election, I encourage you to cast your ballot when it works best for you.”
Of Michigan’s 83 counties, 49 will hold elections Tuesday, Aug. 6. To find out if your community is holding an election, visit Michigan.gov/Vote. Polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Citizens 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, Aug. 5, 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, Aug. 2. 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. Tuesday, Aug. 6, 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 Michigan.gov/Vote.
For those communities holding an election Tuesday, Aug. 6, city and township clerks’ offices will be open the weekend before Election Day 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 Michigan.gov/Vote or contact your local clerk’s office directly.
For more information, download the New Rights for Michigan Voters flyer at Michigan.gov/Elections.
To check your registration status, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at Michigan.gov/Vote. 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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