Voting in Michigan

Michigan has early voting and “no-excuse” absentee voting. I encourage people to help reduce crowding at the polling stations on the day of the election by taking advantage of one of these options. Many volunteer poll workers are elderly people at greater risk of infection and adverse outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Eaton Rapids Township, where I reside, I called the township office to get hours for early voting (the response I heard was 9 AM to 4 PM, Mondays and Wednesdays, at the Eaton Rapids Township office north of Eaton Rapids on Canal Road). You have to provide a completed absentee ballot application and an acceptable form of identification, and with those you can fill out and hand in your absentee ballot.

For details on requirements and procedures, rather than relying on my possibly-fallible report of things, visit the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office website on voting. There, you can confirm your registration status, determine your polling place, your local election official, what identification documents you will need, and see a sample ballot so you can research your choices. Myself, I’ve printed out a sample ballot to mark up and have on hand when I go to early voting. You can enter a request to be put on the permanent absentee voters list, which should have you receiving an absentee ballot application. That’s important; you never get sent the absentee ballot directly because of being on the permanent absentee voter list, you always have to submit a completed absentee ballot application. When I called my local election official, they indicated that there was some lapse in communication, and that though I had filled out my request to be on the permanent absentee voter list on the state’s site, that information had not been sent to her office. She had to verify my status and then send out the absentee ballot application. Please make sure to check each step of the process, because there are apparently many possible points of failure that could make it impossible to receive and return an absentee ballot in a timely fashion, and the responsibility for following through always is borne by the voter.

Please vote. Whatever your choices on the ballot this year, please participate if you are able to do so.