As Election Day nears, voters locally and around the country have cast absentee ballots and voted early in record numbers. Other registered voters will head to the polls on Nov. 3. No matter which method you use – by absentee ballot or in person on Election Day – follow these checklists to make sure your vote counts.
If you plan to vote early or by absentee ballot
Early voting in Michigan is exercising your right to cast an absentee (mail-in) ballot. You can do this at the Township Hall or take the ballot home and return it by 8 p.m. on Election Day. All eligible registered voters in Michigan may request an absentee ballot without providing a reason.
1. Apply for an absentee ballot – The last day the clerk will send an absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. At this time, voters who want an absentee ballot are encouraged to apply in person at the Clerk’s office. The deadline to apply for and receive an in-person absentee ballot is by 4 p.m. on Nov. 2.
2. I made a mistake on my absentee ballot – If you voted for more candidates than indicated under each office title or voted for a candidate by mistake, you can request to spoil your ballot. You need to bring your spoiled ballot to the Clerk’s office and request a replacement ballot in writing by 4 p.m. on Nov. 2.
3. Return your absentee ballot now. The Clerk’s office is encouraging all absentee ballot voters to submit their voted ballot early. This helps the Clerk’s office complete the work it needs to do so your ballot is ready for counting on Election Day.
4. When is the deadline to return my absentee ballot – Only the absentee ballots received by 8 p.m. Nov. 3 can be counted, and postmarks are not accepted. While you can still mail your ballot, when possible, voters who have completed their absentee ballot are advised to hand-deliver their ballot to the Clerk’s office or use one of the two drop boxes at City Hall (in the vestibule and in the circular drive).
5. I applied for an absentee ballot but did not receive it – Contact the Clerk’s office so we can track your ballot and explain your options. A written request signed by the voter is required to receive a replacement ballot. When possible, voters should come in to the Clerk’s office in person to request a replacement ballot.
6. Was my ballot received by the Clerk and was my signature accepted? Use the link on the Secretary of State website to track your ballot. When your ballot is noted as received by the clerk, the signature was accepted and the ballot is ready for processing on Election Day.
7. When will my absentee ballot be tabulated? Absentee ballots will be tabulated on Election Day. This work is done by a group of bipartisan election workers that make up the Absent Voter Counting Board (AVCB). At 7 a.m. on Election day, the AVCB will begin opening ballot envelopes and preparing the ballots for tabulation.
If you plan to go to the polls on Election Day
1. Confirm your voter registration and find your polling place – Check your voter’s registration and find your polling place on the Secretary of State website. If you are not registered, you can register to vote any time up to 8 p.m. on Election Day by coming to the Clerk’s office and showing current proof of residency. If you wait until Election day to register to vote, you may experience additional wait time. Avoid potential lines by going to the Clerk’s office ahead of Election day to register to vote.
3. Review the sample ballot and voter guides – The ballot is very long with many contests and proposals. A Sample Ballot and voter guides are available on the State’s website. Hard copies of voter guides are available at the Northville District Library. You may bring these materials with you on Election Day. Preparing ahead of time helps reduce voting booth wait time on Election Day.
4. Polling place hours on Election day – the polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Everyone in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Please be patient if voting during peak times, which are 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Allow sufficient time to vote. If you are concerned about a long wait at your polling place, consider voting by absentee ballot.
5. Photo ID requirement – Have your photo ID readily available for the poll workers. If you are not in possession of photo ID, you can vote after completing an affidavit attesting that you are not in possession of your photo ID. Read more about the photo ID requirement here.
6. I applied for an absentee ballot but did not receive it. Can I go to my polling place on Election Day? If you did not receive your absentee ballot, you can go to your polling place and vote in person on Election Day. You will experience a slight delay as the poll workers will ask you to leave the line as they need to call the Clerk’s office to confirm your absentee ballot was not received. You will also be required to sign an affidavit. Then you will be issued a precinct ballot.
7. What about campaign materials, including buttons, shirts, and hats? Campaign materials such as stickers, buttons, or candidate/political party clothing may not be worn within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place. This includes materials with a slogan that can be linked to a candidate or political party. Poll workers will remind you to remove these items or conceal them. You may refer to campaign materials while in the voting booth. Please do not leave your campaign materials in the voting booth.
8. Are ballot selfies allowed? While voters can take a picture of their ballot in the voting booth, for the privacy and security of neighboring voters, voters are prohibited against holding their ballot up for a selfie and/or photo.
9. Polling place safety – Voters are encouraged to wear a face mask to protect themselves and others while voting. Socially distanced lines, voting booths, and sanitizing procedures might make for a slightly longer wait to vote. Please be patient with our poll workers.