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Registering To Vote

Are You Eligible?

To register to vote, you must be all of the following:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • At least 18 years old by Election Day
  • A resident of Michigan
  • A resident of the city or township where you are applying to register to vote for at least 30 days prior to the next Election Day.

If you want to check to see if you are registered, visit www.Michigan.gov/vote. There you will find information about registering to vote and voting, voting equipment, polling place locations, state and local ballots, the candidates, campaign finance and more. Your local clerk can help with questions about your voter registration, polling place location and working at the polls.

Registering To Vote

Eligible citizens may become registered to vote in a variety of ways, at any time through Election Day.  Individuals who register to vote within the 14-day period immediately preceding an election must appear in person at their city or township clerk’s office and provide proof of residency. 

Individuals using any other method must register to vote at least 15 days before Election Day and are not required to provide proof of residency.  Other methods of registration include an application obtained at one of the following locations: 

  • Your local Secretary of State branch office 
  • Your local county, city, or township clerk's office
  • Offices of several state agencies, like the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Community Health, and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
  • Military recruitment centers
  • Voter registration drives
  • Online at www.Michigan.gov/sos

Michigan law states that the same address must be used for voter registration and driver's license purposes. That means, if the residence address you provide on the application differs from the address shown on a driver's license or personal identification card issued by the state of Michigan, the Secretary of State will automatically change your driver's license or personal ID card address to match the residence address entered on this form. If a change is made, the Secretary of State will mail you an address update sticker for your driver's license or personal ID card.

If you are living outside the U.S., you may send a Federal Postcard Application to register to vote. This application is distributed through U.S. embassies and military bases. It also serves as a way to request an absentee ballot.

Submitting Your Application

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

If you have never registered to vote in Michigan and choose to mail in your application, you will need to meet an identification requirement. This means you must:

  • Enter your driver's license number or personal identification card number where requested on the form. OR
  • Send a copy of ONE of the following forms of identification with your application:
    • A photocopy of your driver's license or personal ID card, or
    • A photocopy of a paycheck stub, utility bill, bank document or government document that lists both your name and your address.

NEVER SEND AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENT!

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 www.Michigan.gov/vote or see Precinct Information in the bar to the left.

Voting

When you go to the polls on Election Day, you will be asked to present voter identification. If you don't have acceptable photo ID, you can vote by signing an affidavit. The affidavit can be used by 1) voters who don't have acceptable photo ID or 2) voters who have photo ID - but didn't bring it to the polls.

Acceptable photo ID includes:

  • Michigan driver's license
  • Michigan personal identification card
  • Driver's license or personal identification card issued by another state
  • Federal or state government-issued photo identification
  • U.S. passport
  • Military identification card with photo
  • Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, such as a college or university
  • Tribal identification card with photo.

If you do not have a driver's license or other acceptable photo identification, you can get a state identification card at your local Secretary of State branch office for $10. State ID cards are free to individuals who are 65 or older or blind or who have had driving privileges terminated due to a physical or mental condition. The fee can also be waived for individuals who present other good cause for a fee waiver. Proof of identity and residency are required when applying for a state ID card.

Points To Remember

  1. If you move to a new city or township, you must re-register. If you move within a city or township and are already registered to vote, you only need to update your address.

  2. If you are in jail, awaiting arraignment or trial, you may register to vote. If you are in jail after being convicted and sentenced, you may not register to vote or vote while you are confined.

  3. Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.Michigan.gov/vote for information about registering to vote and voting, voting equipment, polling place locations, state and local ballots, the candidates, campaign finance and more. Your local clerk can help with questions about your voter registration, polling place location and working at the polls.

In Summary

Step 1:  
You Must Be...

  • A US citizen
  • A Michigan citizen
  • A citizen of the town where you're registering
  • At least 18 years old
Step 2:  

Fill Out Application

  • Obtain an application at one of many locations, and fill it out.

Step 3: 
Submit Application

  • Hand-deliver or mail in application.
  • If never registered to vote in Michigan and choose to mail in application, remember to include identification information.

Step 4:  
Clerk Mails Voter Card

  • Card will show location where to cast ballot.

Step 5: 
Vote!