What You Need to Know To Vote This November
Election Day is November 6. Polls are open from 7AM—8PM. Be sure to check your voter registration status and find your polling location.
What ID You Will Need to Vote:
Each voter must show a photo ID or sign an affidavit attesting that he or she is not in possession of photo identification.
A voter who does not possess either a Michigan driver’s license or Michigan person identification card may show any of the following, as long as they are current:
- Driver's license or personal identification card issued by another state
- Federal or state government-issued photo ID
- U.S. passport
- Military ID with photo
- Student ID with photo -- from a high school or accredited institution of higher education
- Tribal ID with photo
Voting by Absentee Ballot
To vote by absentee ballot, you MUST have an excuse. An application for absentee ballot must be in writing and received by your local election official by 2PM on November 3, 2012. Click here to download an absentee ballot application. Completed ballots must be received before 8:00p.m. on Election Day.
Recent Legislation Affecting Michigan's Voting Laws
The legislature recently passed legislation that will restrict voter registration drives, require photo ID to register to vote, and adds a duplicative citizenship question that voters must answer. Governor Snyder vetoed SB 754 and SB 803. He signed SB 751 into law. It appears that the Michigan legislature will revisit the vetoed legislation.
SB 754 would require a person registering to vote in person to show a photo ID or a birth cerificate and an "additional document" to register to vote. If they fail to show identification, their registration will be treated as a mail-in registration and the voter will need to vote in-person the first time they vote and show a photo ID. It would also require groups conducting voter registration drives to register with the state and have a “registered agent or agents” of the organization (defined as two or more individuals distributing and collecting voter regsitration applications) attend a training provided and designed by the secretary of state and, in turn, train employees and staff that will participate in the registration drive. Those employees and volunteers will also have to sign an affidavit affirming they understand the penalties for turning in a false registration. Additionally, completed forms must be turned in within 15 days. However, 7 days before the end of the voter registration period for the next election (registration closes 30 days before Election Day), registration forms must be submitted within 2 business days of completion or before close of registration.
SB 803 requires voters to check a box affirming they are a U.S. citizen in order to vote. The ballot will be challenged and not counted if the voter fails to affirm their citizenship.
SB 751 allows for a voter to be removed entirely from the registration list if the Department of State “believes” they have moved out of the state if the voter does not respond within 30 days to a postcard seeking verification of their residency and then does not vote in the next 2 general elections. Also, if the voter hasn’t voted for 6 consecutive years and then votes by absentee ballot, their ballot will be automatically challenged. It will not be challenged if they turn in their absentee ballot in person and show a photo ID.
FELN Guides and other Resources
- Guide to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) in Michigan (2012)
- Voter Eligibility Guide for Michigan (2012)
- Conducting Voter Registration Drives in Michigan (2012)
- Identification Requirements to Vote in Michigan (2012)
- Michigan Student Voting Guide (2012)
- FELN and Other Voting Rights Groups Joint Testimony Opposing Michigan's "Safe and Fair Elections" Initiative
- Michigan Senate Votes to Make Registering and Voting Harder
- Fair Elections Legal Network Joins Other Organizations in Opposing Michigan Election Bills
- Robert M. Brandon: Michigan Needs Election Reform that Expands Access