As scary as things might get this Halloween weekend, nothing is scarier right now than what’s at stake in the election on Tuesday, Nov. 3. And logistically, this election will be unlike any other we’ve experienced in our lifetimes, so it’s more important to be prepared and have a plan.
Voting is one of the most important and effective things you can do to shape public policy. Unfortunately, voting can still be challenging and intimidating for some. But it is your right, and we urge you to exercise it. The future of our state and our country depends on it.
Luckily, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, some new voting reforms that the League supported were already in place for 2020: no-reason absentee voting, voting by mail, early voting and in-person voting. Hopefully many of you reading this are among the millions who have already utilized these options to cast your vote.
But if you are still planning to vote between now and Election Day, we want to do our part to make that as easy as possible. Positive changes were also made to the voter registration process, so even if you’re not currently registered to vote, there’s still time. You can check your voter registration here. To register or update your voter registration for the November 3 general election, you must go to your city or township clerk’s office as soon as possible, but no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day. You can vote during the same visit. Here is what you need to bring with you.
To help address any other questions or concerns, you can always call your local clerk’s office. The Secretary of State’s office has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions for the 2020 election.
And here are some additional tips that can make voting a little easier.
- Find out where you vote and make sure your polling place hasn’t changed. Note that your polling place is for in-person voting on Election Day only.
- If you’re voting early, make sure you know where to take your ballot. It’s too late to mail your ballot in, so find out where your local clerk’s office or the nearest drop box is and drop it off before Tuesday. Your clerk’s office is probably not the same place you usually vote in person.
- Make a plan to vote. Thinking about what time of day you’ll go and how you’ll get there ahead of time makes you much more likely to vote.
- Don’t be late, be there by 8. The polls close at 8:00 p.m., but if you are in line at 8:00 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
- You can view your ballot now.
- You can bring your kids to the polls. Don’t let a lack of child care prevent you from voting.
- College students can choose where their voter registration address—whether it’s at home or at school.
- Bring a photo ID if you have one…but you still have the right to vote without one. If you forget to bring a photo ID to the polls or do not have one, you are still allowed to vote by asking to sign an affidavit of identity.
- Individuals with a criminal record can still vote, including convicted felons who have served their time or those who are on probation or parole.
For even more last-minute pointers, check out the latest from Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office.
Everyone’s vote is important, now and always. Make sure your friends and family are aware of this important information, and that they have a plan to get out to vote, too. It is easier than ever for Michiganders to make their voices heard. But it’s still ultimately up to you to cast your vote.