Thursday, July 21, 2022

Absentee ballots are still available from clerks’ offices

Absentee ballots for the Tuesday, Aug. 2 statewide primary election have already been mailed to voters who applied to vote absentee. The ballots are also available at the offices of local municipal clerks in local city and township hall buildings.

Following voter approval of the statewide ballot proposal 18-3, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.

Check voter registration status at Michigan Voter Information Center

“Voters have numerous secure options for how to cast their ballots this August,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

“Whether they choose to vote from home, by mail, via secure drop box, in person by absentee ballot at their local clerk’s office, or at their polling location on Election Day, Michigan voters can be confident their vote will be counted and their voice will be heard.”

Voters may request an absent voter ballot or accessible voter ballot in a variety of ways. Voters can complete an online application at or submit an application, large print application, letter, or postcard at their local clerk's office. Find  local clerk’s addresses at Requests for absent voter ballots may be returned may be returned by hand, via postal mail, fax or email, as long as a signature is visible. 

Requests to have an absent voter ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk no later than 5 p.m. the Friday before the election. Those already registered to vote at their current address can request an absent voter ballot in person at the local clerk's office anytime until 4 p.m. on the day prior to the election. This ballot must be completed at the clerk's office. Those who need to register to vote or update their address by appearing at the clerk's office on Election Day, can request an absent voter ballot at the time of registration. Absentee ballots requested the day before the election or on Election Day must vote the ballot in the clerk's office. 

Once a ballot request is received by the local clerk, voter's signature on the request will be checked against voter registration records before a ballot is issued. Only registered voters are eligible to receive an absent voter ballot, but residents can register and apply for an absent voter ballot at the same time.  Requests for absent voter ballots are processed immediately. Absent voter ballots may be issued to voters at their home address or any address outside of their city or township of residence.

After receiving an absent voter ballot, voters have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to complete the ballot and return it to the clerk's office. Ballots will not be counted unless voter’s signature is on the return envelope and matches the signature on file. If you received assistance voting the ballot, then the signature of the person who helped you must also be on the return envelope. Only the voter, a family member or person residing in the same household, a mail carrier, or election official is authorized to deliver  signed absent voter ballot to the clerk's office.

If an emergency, such as a sudden illness or family death prevents a voter from reaching the polls on Election Day, an emergency absent voter ballot can be requested. Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absent voter ballots has passed but before 4 p.m. on Election Day. The emergency must have occurred at a time which made it impossible to apply for a regular absent voter ballot. 

Voters on the permanent absentee list were mailed applications by their local clerk and some clerks mailed applications to all registered voters in their jurisdiction. Regardless of if they have received an application in the mail, voters can apply to vote absentee at At the same site, voters who have already submitted their application can track that it has been received and track the mailing of their ballot, Benson said.

If a voter has already voted absentee and wishes to change their vote (because the candidate has dropped out of the race, or for any other reason), a voter can spoil their ballot by submitting a written request to their city or township clerk.