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Early Voting vs. Absentee Voting

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Thanks to Prop 2 of 2022, Michigan voters now have two ways to vote before Election Day: voting early and voting by absentee ballot. Read on to lean the differences between the two methods.

What is . . . 

Early Voting

Early voting is the opportunity to cast a ballot in person at an early voting site before Election Day. For voters, the early voting experience will be similar to the experience of voting at a polling place on Election Day and will include feeding your completed ballot into a tabulator.

Absentee Voting

Voting by absentee ballot is the process of requesting a ballot from your city or township clerk, receiving and filling out the ballot, and then, generally, returning the ballot to your city or township clerk either in-person, in a secure ballot drop box, or by mail. Starting in the spring of 2024, you will also be able to bring your absentee ballot to an early voting site or Election Day polling location and feed that ballot into a tabulator.

Where is . . . 

Early Voting

You can vote early at an early voting site that serves your community. The early voting site for your community may be in your city or township, in a neighboring city or township, or elsewhere in your county depending on how your local clerk chooses to conduct early voting.

 

Absentee Voting

You can fill out your absentee ballot anywhere, including at home or in your city or township clerk’s office. You can submit your ballot by taking it to your city or township clerk’s office, putting it in a secure ballot drop box, or by mail. Starting in the spring of 2024, you will also be able to cast your absentee ballot yourself at an early voting site or Election Day polling location. 

When is . . . 

Early Voting

You will be able to vote early in every statewide and federal election for at least nine consecutive days, ending on the Sunday before Election Day, for at least eight hours each day. Some communities may offer early voting in additional elections and for additional days. 

Absentee Voting

Absentee ballots must be made available to voters in every election starting 40 days before Election Day. For most voters, your ballot must be received by your city or township clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you’re overseas or serving in the military, your ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and received within six days.

How do I . . . 

Vote Early

You can vote early by going to an early voting site that serves your community and filling out an “application to vote,” like you do at an Election Day polling place. 

Vote by Absentee Ballot 

To vote by absentee ballot, you must first request a ballot. You can request a ballot by email, mail, fax, or in-person. You can also submit an application to join the “Permanent Mail Ballot List.” If you join that list, you will receive a ballot by mail before each election without having to submit a new application each time. 

How can I be sure that my ballot was counted?

Early Voting

When you vote early at an early voting site, you will feed your ballot into a tabulator (just like you do on Election Day) and see that it was counted.

 

Absentee Voting​

You can track the status of your absentee ballot by going to MI.gov/vote and clicking on “your voter information.” The Bureau of Elections is also developing a tracking system which will allow you to receive notifications about the status of your ballot via email and/or text. 

Call the Election Protection hotlines for assistance at any time.  

For assistance in English, call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).
 

Para recibir ayuda en español, llama a 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682). 

 

844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287) :للمساعدة باللغة العربية، اتصل على 
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For assistance in Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Urdu or Vietnamese call 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683).

For additional information or questions, email: questions@michiganvoting.org.

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