Lizzo wants U-M students to vote. Here’s how to do that in quarantine

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 3:38pm

In a campaign video for Joe Biden, Lizzo urges University of Michigan students to vote.

In a campaign video for Joe Biden, Lizzo urges University of Michigan students to vote. Buy this photo
Courtesy of Biden for President

University of Michigan leadership and local officials are close to begging students to vote. They aren’t alone.

In a campaign video for Joe Biden posted online Wednesday, Detroit native and singer Lizzo explained the details of Washtenaw County’s recent stay-in-place order, reminding students they are still allowed to vote.

“I know the University of Michigan has a stay-at-home order to help keep everyone safe, but the order specifically says that students are allowed to go out to register and vote early,” Lizzo said in the video. “So don’t wait. Put on your mask and go vote today.”

But that’s a bit difficult for the more than 200 students still in quarantine and isolation housing at the University. For sick students, getting an absentee ballot and placing it in a nearby drop box is the recommended way to vote while following public health guidelines. Here is how students can vote if they have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19.

Can I still request an absentee ballot if I’m in quarantine?

To receive an absentee ballot, students must request one by completing and returning an absentee ballot application online at Michigan.gov/vote or by downloading an application to sign and return to the Ann Arbor City Clerk’s office by 4 p.m. Friday. 

Under state law, voters must provide proof of residency in the final two weeks before an election. For students who still need to register to vote, residency documents can be provided digitally, including through Wolverine Access to show the student’s local address at a dorm or apartment.

Can I still receive my absentee ballot if I am currently quarantining but it has already been dropped off at my campus address? 

Under Michigan election laws, only immediate family members or residents of the voter’s household can mail or deliver a ballot to the local election clerk on their behalf. Students in quarantine can request their absentee ballot be delivered by an immediate family member to quarantine and isolation housing. 

Students who live both on and off campus can have their roommates drop off their absentee ballots as well. If a student lives in a residence hall, they can request their ballot be brought to them by contacting the U-M Q&I Coordination Center at 734-936-2600 or by email at qandicenter@umich.edu. Students can return their ballot to a nearby secure drop box location once they have filled it out. 

How can I return my absentee ballot to my local election clerk if I’m in quarantine? 

Student voters can use absentee ballot drop-boxes in or around quarantine and isolation housing. If you are sick, this is the best recommended option. With less than a week until the election, state and local officials have warned voters not to use the United States Postal Service to mail ballots out of fear they will not be delivered in time. Ballots must be placed in a secure drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day. 

Student voters can return their ballot in-person to their local election clerk if their health is cleared and they are able to do so by or on Election Day. 

Under Michigan election laws, students can have a member of their immediate family or a member of their household — including their roommates in Ann Arbor — return their absentee ballot on their behalf. A postal carrier or a certified election official could also return the ballot for them. However, for students in dorms, residents of the same floor or resident advisers do not qualify nor do other members of housing staff.

Where are the drop-boxes located? 

For people quarantining at Northwood, a ballot box is located in Northwood III apartments. In a Wednesday email to The Michigan Daily, Ann Arbor City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry said she had just placed a mobile ballot box placed in the Baits Community Center in the lobby of Coman House. The box will be there for students to deposit absentee ballots until Sunday at 3 p.m.

How can I check to make sure my ballot was delivered and processed? 

To track absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots, students can go to Michigan.gov/vote to see if their ballot has been received by or on Election Day. 

Additional information for students in quarantine who want to vote can be found here.

Daily Staff Reporter Julia Forrest can be reached at juforres@umich.edu

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