Voting is managed by your City Clerk or Township Clerk. They keep the voter rolls (lists of who is registered); give out the ballots–in person, at a “polling station” (usually in a school, senior center or other community center) or in their own offices; and collect and count the ballots at the end of election day. The Secretary of State (SoS) also helps handle voter registration, and the County Clerk assists and supports the City and Township Clerks.
How to VOTE
Ways to Register to Vote: Automatic when you ask for or update a driver's license or state ID from the Secretary of State Office Online, using the Express SOS system Fill out a form when someone offers you one! You must be 18 at the time of the election, so you can register when you are 17 if the next election will be after your birthday. You will receive a voter registration card that will tell you what political area you are in. If you live in a city, the neighborhood you live in is part of a Precinct, which is part of a larger Ward. This determines where you will vote, and what candidates you will see on the ballot. Wards elect city council members and mayors. Precincts also elect Precinct Delegates, unpaid positions in each political party- they are supposed to act as neighborhood organizers. You are also in a State Legislative district, which elects a Representative to State legislature, a larger State Senate district, which sends Senators to the capital, a much larger Congressional District which elects a Representative to the US Congress, and your state elects 2 Senators. All the voters in the State get to select the Senators.
Know Your Status
Haven’t voted since 2020? That’s OK: life happens! If your last 2 years included a 1) 🚚 a move 2) 💍 name change 3) 🇺🇸 getting US citizenship or 4) 🎂 an 18th birthday, be sure to update your voter registration on the National Associations of Secretaries of State (https://www.nass.org/can-I-vote) so you’re #VoteReady!
Know Your Ballot
Voters Guides are prepared by the League of Women Voters and by political parties, there are speeches on TV and YouTube, and there are live events you can attend to learn about candidates and their plans for us if they win. Find MORE in the Voting Corner subpage titled "Voting Resources"
Know Your Rights
Voter suppression is alive and well! It may not look like it did my Uncle Elbert's days back in rural Tennessee, but unnecessary purging, voter intimidation, switching or reducing polling places, countless bills and layers of complexity for voters, and disinformation campaigns aimed at Black and Latino populations are just some of the new tactics to keep our votes muted. Michigan is better than some states, but it is a swing state with an active bill mill. 65% of Michiganders believe elections are safe and secure. That could change as we have seen in recent years. Protect yourself during the voting process and at the polls with the Voter Protection Hotline Number (see yours below).
You have done your part in registering to vote, learning about the issues in your community, and the candidates. Don't sell yourself and your power short by not completing the act. You can VOTE two ways: In person, or Absentee If you want to vote in person, you must plan to have some time open on the day of the election. You will go to the polling place listed on your voter reg card. You can also find your polling place and other information by visiting michigan.gov/sos and clicking on the word ‘elections’ at the top of the screen. For the Presidential and sometimes the midterm elections (those held in November between presidential elections, where governors and state officials are chosen) lines can be very long. Sometimes it can take several hours, so if that is a problem for you, Absentee Voting is a better option. Because of Proposition 3 reforms after the November, 2018 election, absentee voting is easier than ever.
Special Michigan Voting Procedures, by group
Have a friend whose first language is not English? Download a voter registration form in the following languages:
- National Mail Voter Registration Form — English
- Formulario nacional de inscripción de votantes — Spanish
- 国家邮件选民登记表 — Chinese
- 全国郵便投票者登録用紙 — Japanese
- 전국 유권자 우편 등록 양식 — Korean
- Dokumento para sa Pambansang Rehistrasyon ng Botanteng Maghuhulog ng Balota sa Koreo — Tagalog
- Mẫu Đơn Ghi Danh Quốc Gia Của Cử Tri Bằng Thư — Vietnamese
- জাতীয় ডাক ভোটার নিবন্ধন ফরম – Bengali
- Inscription sur les listes électorales — French
- Aplikasyon Enskripsyon Elektè — Haitian Creole
- राष्ट्रीय डाक मतदाता पंजीकरण फॉर्म – Hindi
- ទម្រង់បែបបទនៃការចុះឈ្មោះអ្នកបោះឆ្នោតថ្នាក់ជាតិ – Khmer
- Solicitação para cadastro de eleitor — Portuguese
- Заявка на регистрацию избирателя — Russian