The following information is for anyone who wants to register to vote in MICHIGAN. All students, even an out-of-state student who only moved on campus this semester, already qualify as a resident and are eligible to vote in Michigan. Out-of-state students can ALSO choose to register in their home state (i.e. the state of their permanent address) and request an absentee ballot. All states and territories allow students who are attending colleges in another state to vote absentee. For information on how to register to vote in other states (and Washington D.C.), refer to this spreadsheet or, if you don’t have access, this website. Note that you ARE PERMITTED to be registered to vote in more than one state, but make sure you only actually vote in one state.

Use the links below to jump directly to sections of this page:

Important Deadlines
Who is My County Clerk?
How to Register to Vote
How to Request an Absentee Ballot
How to Vote (In-Person & Absentee)
Getting Involved Beyond Your Vote
Catholic Social Teaching Resources for Discernment


Important Deadlines

Election day is November 3rd

Registration Deadlines:
Online: October 19th
Via Mail: Postmarked by October 19th
In Person: November 3rd

*October 19th is the last day you can register without needing to provide proof of residency

Absentee Ballot Deadlines:

Request: Received by October 30th by 5:00 PM
Return by mail: Postmarked by November 2nd
Return in person: November 3rd by 8:00 PM

Additional information: 

Michigan does offer registration on Election Day. You can register and vote on Election Day at your city/township clerk’s office.


Who is my County Clerk?

Washtenaw County

Lawrence Kestenbaum, Clerk/register
200 N Main St
Suite 120
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Phone:  (734) 222-6730
Fax:  (734) 222-6528
Email:  elections@ewashtenaw.org

Wayne County

Cathy Garrett, Wayne County Clerk
2 Woodward Ave
City-County Bldg Rm 502
Detroit, Michigan 48226-3463
Phone:  (313) 224-6262
Fax:  (313) 224-5364
Email:   jredmond@waynecounty.com

Click here to find the clerk’s office is in your local city/township.


How to Register to Vote

There are many ways to register to vote in Michigan. You can register at any time up to 8 p.m. on Election Day, but it is best to register as soon as possible.

Step 1: Verify your eligibility

Proof of eligibility: To be eligible to register to vote you must be:

  • A Michigan resident (at the time you register) and a resident of your city or township for at least 30 days (when you vote)
  • A United States citizen
  • At least 18 years of age (when you vote)
  • Not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison

You can register when you are 17.5 years old, but you can’t vote until you’re 18.

Proof of residency:

  • You only need to provide proof of residency if you are registering within two weeks of Election Day. If you register on or before October 19th you DO NOT need to provide proof of residency
  • If you register after October 19th, you must show proof of residency. 
    • Documents must have your name and current address
    • You can show a digital copy of documents.
    • Visit the MI Voter Information website to see what documents are acceptable

Step 2: Fill out an application

For the November 3, 2020 general election, you can register by one of the following methods through October 19, 2020:

  • Online at Michigan.gov/VoterRegistration
  • In Person 
    • at a Secretary of State branch office 
    • at your city or township clerk’s office or your county clerk’s office
    • at any state agency that provides public assistance or services to people with disabilities
    • Through a voter registration drive
  • By Mail: Mail in a completed voter registration application postmarked by October 19, 2020 or earlier
    • Get a printable application here

After October 19, 2020, all applications must be submitted to your local city/township clerk’s office in person.

Step 3: Submit your application

Submitting your application online:

To submit your application online, visit the online voter registration section of this website.

Submitting your application in person:

If you hand-deliver your application to the city/township clerk, the staff person helping you will take your form and you don’t need to do anything else.

Submitting your application via mail:

If you have never registered to vote in Michigan and choose to mail in your application, you will need to verify your identity. Click this link for more information on verification of identity.

Step 4: City/township clerk processes application

Your city or township clerk will send you a voter registration card upon processing your application. Keep it in your wallet or purse so you know where to go to cast your ballot. For directions and a map to your polling place, visit Michigan.gov/Vote.

Step 5: You’re registered, now make sure to vote!

Can I register to vote on Election Day?

YES! It is best to register in advance, but, yes, you are able to register to vote and vote in person on Election Day at your city or township clerk’s office. You’ll need to bring your proof of eligibility and residency

Can I vote as a student?

YES!

If you’re from Michigan and go to school here: Register to vote at your school address or your home address.

If you’re from Michigan and go to a school outside the state: Register to vote at your home address in Michigan.

If you’re not from Michigan but go to school here: Register to vote at your school address in Michigan.

For additional information visit https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/Home/RegisterToVote/#video


How to Request an Absentee Ballot

Can I apply for an absentee ballot online?

Yes, registered voters can request an absentee ballot online through using this absentee voter request form before October 30

To use the Online Absent Voter Ballot application tool below, you need to be registered to vote in Michigan and have a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID.

If you do NOT have a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID see your other options for requesting an absentee ballot below.

What are my other options for requesting an absentee ballot?

If you were already registered to vote, an application for an absentee ballot was likely already mailed to you. If you did not receive one or cannot find it, you can:

  • Call your city/township clerk and ask that an application be mailed to you, OR
  • Download an application from this website and return it by mail or in person to your local clerk or township

When is the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot? Requests for an absent voter ballot must be received by your township or city clerk no later than 5 p.m. on October 30th

The sooner you request your absentee ballot and return it the better! Absentee ballots that are returned after 8:00 PM on Election Day will NOT be counted.


How to Vote (In-Person & Absentee)

Voting In-Person

Where do I go to vote? Once you are registered to vote, you can look up your specific voting location here.

Can I vote in-person before Election Day? YES! Go to your local clerk’s office, ask for your absentee ballot, vote and submit it in one trip.

Do I need an ID? You will be asked to show ID when you check in to vote. If you don’t have one, you can still vote.

If this happens, expect a poll worker to ask you to sign a form before you vote that explains you didn’t have an ID. Your ballot will be included with all others and counted on Election Day. Visit this website to see what ID types you can use.

Voting Absentee

When is my ballot due? Your completed absentee ballot must be received by your city or township clerk by 8 p.m. on November 3rd, Election Day.

Start the process early!  Mail in your application for an absentee ballot ASAP and return your completed ballot immediately.

Did my ballot arrive? All registered voters can track their ballot by looking up their information in the voter information section of this website.

Make sure your vote counts! More than 80% of the 10,600 absentee ballots rejected in Michigan’s August primary election were due to signature verification issues or because the ballot arrived at the clerks’ office after election day. 

Take the following steps to make sure your vote is counted

  1. Read through all the instructions carefully before voting!
  2. After you have completed voting, place the ballot in the secrecy sleeve.
  3. When submitting your absentee ballot, don’t forget to sign the return envelope.
  4. Don’t try out a new signature! Your signature on the return envelope must match the signature on your voter file.
  5. Make sure the right person delivers your ballot. The only people who can deliver your ballot to the clerk’s office are you, a mail carrier, an election official, one of your family members, or a person residing in your home.

Return your ballot early so it arrives on or before November 3rd.


GETTING INVOLVED BEYOND YOUR VOTE

Sign up to be an election worker

Election workers are people who are paid to assist voters and count ballots on Election Day, and their role is essential in ensuring free and fair elections for all. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is expected to be a shortage of election workers. Many election workers are needed to work at the polls, assist clerks, and count ballots. 

To be an election worker, you must be a registered voter of the state. Visit this website to learn more about becoming an election worker in Michigan and sign up today!


Catholic Social Teaching Resources for Discernment 

This video explains some of the key takeaways from Pope Francis’ latest encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” https://youtu.be/N_ZhYlXs-Dk

Voting is an Act of Love – Ignatian Solidarity Network’s get out the vote and education efforts:
https://ignatiansolidarity.net/voting-is-an-act-of-love/?utm_source=igsol.net&utm_medium=urlshortener

Ignatian Examen for Civic Life
English version: https://ignatiansolidarity.net/ignatian-examen-for-civic-life/
Spanish version: https://ignatiansolidarity.net/un-examen-ignacio-para-la-vida-civica/

We are Salt and Light
Educational resources on Catholic Social Teaching:
https://www.wearesaltandlight.org/learn-together?tab=catholic%20social%20teaching

Civilize it pledge to dialogue with civility:
https://www.wearesaltandlight.org/civilize-it

Videos about USCCB’s Call to Faithful Citizenship
Catholics Participate in Public Life https://youtu.be/YpiJvheFjAA
Catholics Protect Human Life and Dignity https://youtu.be/zdnvUngN84U
Catholics promote the Common Good https://youtu.be/MwQyJKROZFk