Voter Registration

Remember, you can’t vote unless you’re registered.

Recently turn 18? Maybe you want to change your party or your voter registration address? Make sure you are eligible to vote in this next election. Take a few minutes and complete the voter registration form so you can Rock the Vote!



Pre-Registration

17.5-year-olds who will be 18 by the next general election can pre-register to vote. On your 18th birthday, your voter registration application will be fully processed.

Election Day Registration

Michigan does not offer the opportunity to register to vote on Election Day.

Automatic Voter Registration

Michigan does not automatically register eligible citizens to vote when they go to a government agency, like the DMV.

If You've Moved

Michigan requires registrants to live in the state for at least 30 days before registering to vote.

Documentation Requirements

When submitting a voter registration application, no additional documents are required for your registration to be processed. The state confirms your citizenship and eligibility through the information provided on your registration form, such as your state-issued license/ID number or the last 4 digits of your SSN.

Voting Rights Restoration

The voting rights of convicted persons are restored upon release. Returning citizens must re-register to vote after their rights are restored.

Interstate Voter Rolls Accuracy & Maintenance

Michigan participates in the Interstate Crosscheck program to compare voter rolls with other states for maintenance purposes.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Prepare to Vote

Voter ID

Photo ID is requested to vote in Michigan. An affidavit is available if you do not have approved form of photo ID. Valid forms of ID include:

- Valid Employee ID from federal government
- Federal or state government-issued photo ID
- U.S. passport
- Military identification card with photo
- Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education
- Tribal identification card with photo

If you are having problems getting an approved form of voter ID, you can call VoteRiders' toll-free voter ID hotline at 844-338-8743 or contact Spread the Vote for assistance at www.spreadthevote.org.

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8716-178123--,00.html

Vote by Mail

First-time voters who register by mail or via a registration drive cannot vote via absentee ballot. Absentee ballot applications must be received no later than 2 pm on the Saturday before Election. To vote absentee in Michigan, voters must be one of the following:

- Age 60 years old or older
- Unable to vote without assistance at the polls
- Expecting to be out of town on Election Day
- In jail awaiting arraignment or trial
- Unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons
- Appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8716_8728-21037--,00.html

In-person Absentee and Early Voting

Michigan does not offer in-person early voting.

Where to Vote

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. eastern time and close at 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. eastern time on Election Day.

https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/MVIC/votersearch.aspx

Voting in Primaries

Michigan has open primaries. Any registered voter can participate in primary elections, regardless of political party.

17-year-olds cannot vote in primary elections. You must be 18 to vote in any election in Michigan.

Access for Voters with Disabilities

Voters with disabilities who require assistance in casting a ballot may receive assistance from another person, provided that the person assisting the voter is not the voter's employer, agent of that employer or an officer or agent of a union to which the voter belongs. If a voter's precinct is not accessible, she will be directed to an alternative site that is accessible.

"Voters with disabilities, like all Americans, have the right to cast a private and independent ballot. Federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Help America Vote Act require polling places, and the voting process from start to finish, to be accessible for people with all types of disabilities, and we've come a long way. In 2000, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 84% of America's polling places were inaccessible. By 2008, that number had dropped by over 10 percentage points. Yet, almost three in four polling places remain inaccessible according to GAO, and no state has a perfectly and fully implemented accessibility requirements. Therefore, there is still room for improvement across the country." - Michelle Bishop, Voting Rights Specialist, Disability Rights Network

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633-27710--,00.html

Michigan Secretary of State

Ruth Johnson

http://www.michigan.gov/sos
(517) 373-2540

Important Absentee Ballot Dates and Deadlines

return citizen?

Student Voting

Voting with a Disability

Michigan Secretary of State

Contact Information

This is the office that is in charge of elections and can give you the most up to date information. A lot of the websites have clear tools to help you find your polling place, but some hide it a bit, so dig around and don’t be afraid to call their office to ask where you need to go to vote!

http://www.michigan.gov/sos
(517) 373-2540

Election Information in Michigan

Voter Registration

Remember, you can’t vote unless you’re registered.

Recently turn 18? Maybe you want to change your party or your voter registration address? Make sure you are eligible to vote in this next election. Take a few minutes and complete the voter registration form so you can Rock the Vote!

Pre-Registration

17.5-year-olds who will be 18 by the next general election can pre-register to vote. On your 18th birthday, your voter registration application will be fully processed.

Election Day Registration

Michigan does not offer the opportunity to register to vote on Election Day.

Automatic Voter Registration

Michigan does not automatically register eligible citizens to vote when they go to a government agency, like the DMV.

If You've Moved

Michigan requires registrants to live in the state for at least 30 days before registering to vote.

Documentation Requirements

When submitting a voter registration application, no additional documents are required for your registration to be processed. The state confirms your citizenship and eligibility through the information provided on your registration form, such as your state-issued license/ID number or the last 4 digits of your SSN.

Voting Rights Restoration

The voting rights of convicted persons are restored upon release. Returning citizens must re-register to vote after their rights are restored.

Interstate Voter Rolls Accuracy & Maintenance

Michigan participates in the Interstate Crosscheck program to compare voter rolls with other states for maintenance purposes.

Prepare to Vote

Voter ID

Photo ID is requested to vote in Michigan. An affidavit is available if you do not have approved form of photo ID. Valid forms of ID include:

- Valid Employee ID from federal government
- Federal or state government-issued photo ID
- U.S. passport
- Military identification card with photo
- Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education
- Tribal identification card with photo

If you are having problems getting an approved form of voter ID, you can call VoteRiders' toll-free voter ID hotline at 844-338-8743 or contact Spread the Vote for assistance at www.spreadthevote.org.

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8716-178123--,00.html

Vote by Mail

First-time voters who register by mail or via a registration drive cannot vote via absentee ballot. Absentee ballot applications must be received no later than 2 pm on the Saturday before Election. To vote absentee in Michigan, voters must be one of the following:

- Age 60 years old or older
- Unable to vote without assistance at the polls
- Expecting to be out of town on Election Day
- In jail awaiting arraignment or trial
- Unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons
- Appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8716_8728-21037--,00.html

In-person Absentee and Early Voting

Michigan does not offer in-person early voting.

Where to Vote

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. eastern time and close at 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. eastern time on Election Day.

https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/MVIC/votersearch.aspx

Voting in Primaries

Michigan has open primaries. Any registered voter can participate in primary elections, regardless of political party.

17-year-olds cannot vote in primary elections. You must be 18 to vote in any election in Michigan.

Access for Voters with Disabilities

Voters with disabilities who require assistance in casting a ballot may receive assistance from another person, provided that the person assisting the voter is not the voter's employer, agent of that employer or an officer or agent of a union to which the voter belongs. If a voter's precinct is not accessible, she will be directed to an alternative site that is accessible.

"Voters with disabilities, like all Americans, have the right to cast a private and independent ballot. Federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Help America Vote Act require polling places, and the voting process from start to finish, to be accessible for people with all types of disabilities, and we've come a long way. In 2000, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 84% of America's polling places were inaccessible. By 2008, that number had dropped by over 10 percentage points. Yet, almost three in four polling places remain inaccessible according to GAO, and no state has a perfectly and fully implemented accessibility requirements. Therefore, there is still room for improvement across the country." - Michelle Bishop, Voting Rights Specialist, Disability Rights Network

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633-27710--,00.html

Important Absentee Ballot Dates and Deadlines

Voting Rights in Michigan

Your state is a blocker, meaning the majority of its policies restrict your right to vote. Fight back by taking action now!

State Snapshot

See an error? Let us know.

Share this:

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR)

When eligible citizens interact with a government agency, like the DMV, they are automatically registered to vote unless they opt-out

Leader: Oregon offers AVR.

Slacker: Rhode Island has signed AVR into law, but it has not been implemented yet.

Blocker: North Carolina does not offer AVR.

Election Day Voter Registration (EDR)

Allows a voter to both register and cast a ballot at the same time

  • Increases voter participation because registration deadlines won’t prevent eligible people from voting
  • In some states, EDR is during the early voting period only; in others, voters can register and vote on Election Day itself

Leader: Wisconsin offers voter registration at the polls on Election Day.

Slacker: Maryland only offers voter registration during the early voting period.

Blocker: Kentucky does not offer any type of EDR.

Pre-Registration

Enables 16 and 17-year-olds to submit voter registration applications and get registered when they become eligible on their 18th birthday

  • Gets first-time voters immediately on the voter rolls when they turn 18 so they are immediately eligible to participate in our democracy
  • Encourages civic participation among young people, with studies showing that voting can be habit forming, being young can have a lifelong impact
  • Can allow for pre-registration in high schools, when first applying for a driver’s license, and more

Leader: Louisiana offers pre-registration starting at 16 years old.

Slacker: South Dakota allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the next general election to pre-register to vote.

Blocker: Texas only allows voters to submit a voter registration form if they are within two months of their 18th birthday, providing a very small window for “pre-registration.”

Online Voter Registration (OVR)

Voters can fill out a registration application online from their computer or smartphone

  • Makes voter registration convenient and more widely accessible
  • Increases registration rates
  • Removes the need to voters to print or mail application forms

Leader: Minnesota offers OVR to all eligible voters, regardless of whether they have a state-issued ID.

Slacker: Nebraska offers OVR, but a state-issued ID is required to use the system.

Blocker: New Hampshire does not offer OVR.

Opportunities to Vote Early

Allows voters to cast an in-person ballot before a scheduled Election Day

  • Adds flexibility, convenience, and increased access to democracy – voters who can’t get to their polling place on Election Day can still participate
  • Reduces lines on Election Day because not everyone votes on the same day
  • States call this practice different names, such as “early voting” or “in-person absentee voting”

Leader: Illinois offers early voting.

Slacker: Rhode Island allows voters to cast “emergency mail ballot” in-person within 20 days of an election

Blocker: Mississippi does not offer any opportunities to vote in person before Election Day.

Not Scored: States that conduct all-mail elections, such as Colorado, were not scored in this category.

Vote by Mail (VBM) and Absentee Voting

Voters can be sent a ballot and then have the option to either mail it back or return it to a designated location

  • Makes sure people who can’t be at their polling place on Election Day (or just want to vote in the comfort of their home) have a voice in our democracy
  • Increases voter participation
  • Lets voters take as much time as needed to cast an informed ballot

Leader: New Mexico allows any registered voter to vote by mail.

Slacker: Massachusetts allows any person to early vote by mail, without an excuse, in those elections which offer early voting: biennial state elections (even years). In Virginia, voters can only cast an in-person absentee ballot with an approved excuse.

Blocker: Michigan limits who can vote by mail by requiring an approved excuse. Additionally, first-time voters in Michigan who register by mail or at a registration drive are not allowed to vote by mail for any reason.

Ability to Vote in Primaries if 18 by General Election

Voters who will be 18 on or by a general election can participate in the corresponding primary election

  • By allowing eligible 17-year-olds to vote in primaries, they can have a say in what will be on their ballot in the general election
  • Increases civic engagement in general elections and makes the voting process overall more inclusive

Leader: West Virginia allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 by a general election to participate in the corresponding primary election.

Slacker: Wyoming does not require this by state law, leaving it to the discretion of political parties.

Blocker: Arizona does not allow any primary voting for those under 18.

Voting Rights Restoration

The process of returning the ability to vote to people with past criminal convictions who have paid their debt to society

  • Over 6 million Americans are currently denied the ability to vote due to a past conviction
  • As a result of racial disparities in incarceration and sentencing, denying the ability to vote to returning citizens disproportionately affects communities of color
  • Americans believe in second chances, and voting rights restoration helps every American have a voice in our democracy
  • People who are allowed to earn back their ability to vote are less likely to commit crimes in the future, making our communities safer

Leader: Maine never revokes the right to vote from someone convicted of a felony.

Slacker: New Jersey restores the right to vote and allows a person to re-register after the completion of his or her sentence, including incarceration, parole, and probation.

Blocker: In Virginia, individuals convicted of a felony can only have their voting rights restored by the Governor.

Restrictive Voter ID Requirements

Reduces participation in our elections by limiting eligible Americans who don’t have an approved form of ID

  • 11% of US citizens don’t have government-issued identification, which many voter ID laws require
  • These laws often exclude specific forms of ID that disproportionately impact specific groups of voters (i.e. excluding student ID cards or public assistance IDs)
  • Voter ID laws disproportionately affect young, low-income, minority, disabled, and elderly voters

Leader: California has no voter ID requirement.

Slacker: Delaware requests a non-photo ID at the polls, but voters without an approved ID can sign an affidavit and still cast a ballot.

Blocker: In Indiana, voters without an approved ID must submit a copy of one within 6 days of voting—or have their provisional ballot be dismissed.

Interstate Voter Rolls Accuracy and Maintenance

The process of maintaining up-to-date voter registration lists or rolls by comparing data across states and government agencies (such as the DMV) to accurately identify non-eligible voters, including those that have passed away or moved

  • Good voter rolls maintenance increases accuracy and reduces election costs
  • Bad voter rolls maintenance can improperly purge eligible and unknowing voters
  • Inaccurate voter roll management (i.e. voter purging) often disproportionately affects communities of color

Leader: The District of Columbia uses the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to accurately compare and maintain voter rolls with other states.

Blocker: Hawaii does not make a coordinated effort to compare and maintain voter rolls with other states.

Blocker: Kansas only uses Interstate Crosscheck to compare voter records across states, which has been found to result in high percentage of false positives and the potential to purge legitimate voters from the rolls.

Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities

Taking concrete steps toward ensuring all voters, regardless of disability, can cast their ballot privately and independently

  • Over 35 million Americans with disabilities are eligible to vote, making up about 15% of the total US electorate
  • Polling place location and layout, accessible voting machines, and curbside voting all help make our voting process more accessible

“Voters with disabilities, like all Americans, have the right to cast a private and independent ballot. Federals law like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Help America Vote Act require polling places, and the voting process from start to finish, to be accessible for people with all types of disabilities, and we’ve come a long way. In 2000, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 84% of America’s polling places were inaccessible. By 2008, that number had dropped by over 10 percentage points. Yet, almost three in four polling places remain in accessible according to GAO, and no state has a perfectly and fully implemented accessibility requirements. Therefore, there is still room for improvement across the country." - Michelle Bishop, Voting Rights Specialist, National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

Accessible Policy Example: Connecticut offers curbside voting for voters with disabilities, and also allows them to move to the front of the line if needed.

Non-Accessible Policy Example: Indiana does not offer an exception to its strict voter ID law for voters with disabilities.

Equal Access to State and Federal Elections

Some states have additional restrictive requirements that make it more complicated for voters to participate in elections

  • Federal voter registration forms already require voters to assert they are U.S. citizens and reside at their registered address
  • These state requirements are particularly challenging for voters who are low-income or are students

Leader: Pennsylvania does not have an additional “proof-of-citizenship” or “proof-of-residence” law to successfully submit a voter registration form.

Blocker: In Kansas, voters who do not submit “proof-of-citizenship” with a registration form (such as a copy of their birth certificate) cannot register to vote—even if they provide a Social Security number/state-issued ID number and their citizenship can be confirmed in another manner.

Glossary

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR)

Allows a voter to both register and cast a ballot at the same time

  • Increases voter participation because registration deadlines won’t prevent eligible people from voting
  • In some states, EDR is during the early voting period only; in others, voters can register and vote on Election Day itself

Leader: Wisconsin offers voter registration at the polls on Election Day.

Slacker: Maryland only offers voter registration during the early voting period.

Blocker: Kentucky does not offer any type of EDR.

Election Day Voter Registration (EDR)

Allows a voter to both register and cast a ballot at the same time

  • Increases voter participation because registration deadlines won’t prevent eligible people from voting
  • In some states, EDR is during the early voting period only; in others, voters can register and vote on Election Day itself

Leader: Wisconsin offers voter registration at the polls on Election Day.

Slacker: Maryland only offers voter registration during the early voting period.

Blocker: Kentucky does not offer any type of EDR.

Pre-Registration

Enables 16 and 17-year-olds to submit voter registration applications and get registered when they become eligible on their 18th birthday

  • Gets first-time voters immediately on the voter rolls when they turn 18 so they are immediately eligible to participate in our democracy
  • Encourages civic participation among young people, with studies showing that voting can be habit forming, being young can have a lifelong impact
  • Can allow for pre-registration in high schools, when first applying for a driver’s license, and more

Leader: Louisiana offers pre-registration starting at 16 years old.

Slacker: South Dakota allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the next general election to pre-register to vote.

Blocker: Texas only allows voters to submit a voter registration form if they are within two months of their 18th birthday, providing a very small window for “pre-registration.”

Online Voter Registration (OVR)

Voters can fill out a registration application online from their computer or smartphone

  • Makes voter registration convenient and more widely accessible
  • Increases registration rates
  • Removes the need to voters to print or mail application forms

Leader: Minnesota offers OVR to all eligible voters, regardless of whether they have a state-issued ID.

Slacker: Nebraska offers OVR, but a state-issued ID is required to use the system.

Blocker: New Hampshire does not offer OVR.

Opportunities to Vote Early

Allows voters to cast an in-person ballot before a scheduled Election Day

  • Adds flexibility, convenience, and increased access to democracy – voters who can’t get to their polling place on Election Day can still participate
  • Reduces lines on Election Day because not everyone votes on the same day
  • States call this practice different names, such as “early voting” or “in-person absentee voting”

Leader: Illinois offers early voting.

Slacker: Rhode Island allows voters to cast “emergency mail ballot” in-person within 20 days of an election

Blocker: Mississippi does not offer any opportunities to vote in person before Election Day.

Not Scored: States that conduct all-mail elections, such as Colorado, were not scored in this category.

Vote-by-Mail (VBM) and Absentee Voting

Voters can be sent a ballot and then have the option to either mail it back or return it to a designated location

  • Makes sure people who can’t be at their polling place on Election Day (or just want to vote in the comfort of their home) have a voice in our democracy
  • Increases voter participation
  • Lets voters take as much time as needed to cast an informed ballot

Leader: New Mexico allows any registered voter to vote by mail.

Slacker: Massachusetts allows any person to early vote by mail, without an excuse, in those elections which offer early voting: biennial state elections (even years). In Virginia, voters can only cast an in-person absentee ballot with an approved excuse.

Blocker: Michigan limits who can vote by mail by requiring an approved excuse. Additionally, first-time voters in Michigan who register by mail or at a registration drive are not allowed to vote by mail for any reason.

Ability to Vote in Primaries if 18 by General Election

Voters who will be 18 on or by a general election can participate in the corresponding primary election

  • By allowing eligible 17-year-olds to vote in primaries, they can have a say in what will be on their ballot in the general election
  • Increases civic engagement in general elections and makes the voting process overall more inclusive

Leader: West Virginia allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 by a general election to participate in the corresponding primary election.

Slacker: Wyoming does not require this by state law, leaving it to the discretion of political parties.

Blocker: Arizona does not allow any primary voting for those under 18.

Voting Rights Restoration

The process of returning voting rights to people with past criminal convictions

  • Over 6 million Americans are currently denied the right to vote due to a past conviction
  • As a result of racial disparities in incarceration and sentencing, denying the right to vote to returning citizens disproportionately affects communities of color
  • Voting rights restoration helps every American have a voice in our democracy

Leader: Maine never revokes the right to vote from someone convicted of a felony.

Slacker: New Jersey restores the right to vote and allows a person to re-register after the completion of his or her sentence, including incarceration, parole, and probation.

Blocker: In Virginia, individuals convicted of a felony can only have their voting rights restored by the Governor.

Restrictive Voter ID Requirements

Reduces participation in our elections by limiting eligible Americans who don’t have an approved form of ID

  • 11% of US citizens don’t have government-issued identification, which many voter ID laws require
  • These laws often exclude specific forms of ID that disproportionately impact specific groups of voters (i.e. excluding student ID cards or public assistance IDs)
  • Voter ID laws disproportionately affect young, low-income, minority, disabled, and elderly voters

Leader: California has no voter ID requirement.

Slacker: Delaware requests a non-photo ID at the polls, but voters without an approved ID can sign an affidavit and still cast a ballot.

Blocker: In Indiana, voters without an approved ID must submit a copy of one within 6 days of voting—or have their provisional ballot be dismissed.

Interstate Voter Rolls Accuracy and Maintenance

The process of maintaining up-to-date voter registration lists or rolls by comparing data across states and government agencies (such as the DMV) to accurately identify non-eligible voters, including those that have passed away or moved

  • Good voter rolls maintenance increases accuracy and reduces election costs
  • Bad voter rolls maintenance can improperly purge eligible and unknowing voters
  • Inaccurate voter roll management (i.e. voter purging) often disproportionately affects communities of color

Leader: The District of Columbia uses the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to accurately compare and maintain voter rolls with other states.

Blocker: Hawaii does not make a coordinated effort to compare and maintain voter rolls with other states.

Blocker: Kansas only uses Interstate Crosscheck to compare voter records across states, which has been found to result in high percentage of false positives and the potential to purge legitimate voters from the rolls.

Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities

Taking concrete steps toward ensuring all voters, regardless of disability, can cast their ballot privately and independently

  • Over 35 million Americans with disabilities are eligible to vote, making up about 15% of the total US electorate
  • Polling place location and layout, accessible voting machines, and curbside voting all help make our voting process more accessible

“Voters with disabilities, like all Americans, have the right to cast a private and independent ballot. Federals law like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Help America Vote Act require polling places, and the voting process from start to finish, to be accessible for people with all types of disabilities, and we’ve come a long way. In 2000, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 84% of America’s polling places were inaccessible. By 2008, that number had dropped by over 10 percentage points. Yet, almost three in four polling places remain in accessible according to GAO, and no state has a perfectly and fully implemented accessibility requirements. Therefore, there is still room for improvement across the country." - Michelle Bishop, Voting Rights Specialist, National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

Accessible Policy Example: Connecticut offers curbside voting for voters with disabilities, and also allows them to move to the front of the line if needed.

Non-Accessible Policy Example: Indiana does not offer an exception to its strict voter ID law for voters with disabilities.

Equal Access to State and Federal Elections

Some states have additional restrictive requirements that make it more complicated for voters to participate in elections

  • Federal voter registration forms already require voters to assert they are U.S. citizens and reside at their registered address
  • These state requirements are particularly challenging for voters who are low-income or are students

Leader: Pennsylvania does not have an additional “proof-of-citizenship” or “proof-of-residence” law to successfully submit a voter registration form.

Blocker: In Kansas, voters who do not submit “proof-of-citizenship” with a registration form (such as a copy of their birth certificate) cannot register to vote—even if they provide a Social Security number/state-issued ID number and their citizenship can be confirmed in another manner.