Thursday marked the start of absentee voting for the 2020 general election. With the election approaching, here are some frequently asked questions about registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot.

Am I eligible to vote?

Any Michigan resident that will be 18 years old by Election Day is eligible to vote. You must also be a U.S. citizen to register.

Where can I register to vote?

Michigan residents can register to vote at any Michigan Secretary of State office, local clerk’s office, as well as satellite locations that have been created for voter registration. An Ann Arbor satellite office recently opened at the University of Michigan Museum of Modern Art to allow for more accessible voter registration and ballot drop off.

Additionally, Michigan residents can also register online through the Michigan Voter Information Center. The last day to register online to vote is Oct. 19. After that date, individuals can still register to vote through Election Day, but it must be in person at a local clerk’s office.

Voter Registration Locations

Is there another voting option prior to Election Day?

In-person early voting is also an option for individuals until Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. People can choose to request an absentee ballot in person at their local clerk’s office and fill it out while they are there. This can also be done at the UMMA satellite office. 

Do I need to bring anything with me when I register?

To register to vote, a valid ID must be presented. For students, an MCard qualifies as a valid ID.

Am I qualified to get an absentee ballot?

Unlike past years, all registered voters in Michigan were sent an absentee ballot application in early June. Voters are not required to provide a reason when requesting a ballot. This change to absentee voting came in 2018 after voters passed Proposal 3, which allows same day voting registration and no-reason absentee voting. 

How do I get an absentee ballot?

The first way to request an absentee ballot is through the Michigan Voting Information Center. The application can also be emailed or mailed to the local clerk’s office, or dropped off at a satellite office, such as the one located in the UMMA. Absentee voting in Michigan began Thursday.

Absentee ballot applications must be received by the local clerk’s office before Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. 

Daily Staff Reporter Alec Cohen can be reached at

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