As a registered voter, you may obtain an absent voter ballot for one of the following reasons:
- 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.
Requesting an Absent Voter Ballot
Your request for an absent voter ballot must be in writing and can be submitted by mail or in person to your city or township clerk. Your request must include one of the six statutory reasons stated above and your signature. You must request an absent voter ballot by mailing the application, large print application, a letter, a postcard, or a pre-printed application form obtained from your local clerk's office. Requests to have an absent voter ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk (by mail or in person) no later than 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Even though this is a Saturday some local clerks may be in their offices until 2 p.m. on March 5.)
Once your request is received by the local clerk, your signature on the request will be checked against your voter registration record before a ballot is issued. You must be a registered voter to receive an absent voter ballot. Requests for absent voter ballots are processed immediately. Absent voter ballots may be issued to you in person or at your home address or any address outside of your city or township of residence. You may also apply for the absentee ballot in person and vote in person in the clerk's office the same day.
After receiving your absent voter ballot, you have until 8 p.m. on March 8, election day, to complete the ballot and return it to the clerk's office. Your ballot will not be counted unless your signature is on the return envelope and matches your signature on file. If you received assistance voting the ballot, then the signature of the person who helped you must also be on the return envelope. Only you, a family member or person residing in your household, a mail carrier, or election official is authorized to deliver your signed absent voter ballot to your clerk's office.
If an emergency, such as a sudden illness or family death prevents you from reaching the polls on election day, you may request an emergency absent voter ballot. Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absent voter ballots has passed but before 4 p.m. on election day. The emergency must have occurred at a time which made it impossible for you to apply for a regular absent voter ballot. Your local clerk will have more information about emergency absent voter ballots.
Voting is one of the most cherished and fundamental rights in our country. If you are eligible to obtain an absent voter ballot and cannot attend the polls on election day, use of the absent voter ballot is strongly encouraged.
For more Michigan voter information click here.