How to Vote by Absentee Ballot

With the general election less than a month away, now is an important time for registered voters to consider how they plan on submitting their votes. The traditional method of voting involves meeting at a designated Polling Place between the hours of 7:00 a.m and 8:00 p.m. Thankfully, there is another way to vote for those who can’t make it to their Polling Place on election day. This other method is called Absentee Voting.

According to the Absentee Ballot application, Michigan residents must meet at least one of these requirements:

  • You are physically disabled and because of this you cannot vote on Election Day without another’s assistance
  • You can’t vote on Election Day because of the principles of your religion
  • You can’t vote on Election Day in the precinct where you are registered because you are an election precinct inspector in another precinct
  • You are 60 years of age or older
  • You are absent or expect to be absent from the township or city in which you reside during the entire time the polls are open for voting on Election Day
  • You are confined in jail awaiting arraignment for trial

If you meet one of the above requirements, the Michigan Secretary of State website says the next steps are as follows:

  1. You must be registered to vote (the deadline for registering to vote in Michigan has already passed for the general election)
  2. Get your Absentee Ballot application here
  3. Fill out the form, making sure to select the proper reason why you cannot vote on Election Day
  4. Find out who your local clerk is here
  5. Submit your Absentee Ballot application to your local clerk by one of the following methods:
  6. Print and mail the application in an envelope
  7. Personally deliver the application to the clerk’s office
  8. Have an immediate family member (or other person residing in your household) mail or personally deliver the application for you

Your application must be submitted to the clerk’s office no later than 2:00 p.m. on November 5.

For out-of-state residents, the Absentee Voting process is almost exactly the same. The biggest difference is in step two – each state has a slightly different application. It is also important to pay attention to deadlines, as they may differ by state.

Indiana Absentee Voting Application

Ohio Absentee Voting Application

That’s it! You will receive your Absentee Ballot in the mail shortly after your application is submitted. For Michigan residents, your final Absentee Ballot must be submitted to your clerk no later than 8:00 p.m. on November 8.