PERMANENT MAIL BALLOT LIST
In November 2022, the voters of Michigan overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment (Prop 2) that, among other things, provides the right to sign up to receive an absentee ballot in the mail before every election.
What is the Permanent Mail Ballot List?
The “Permanent Mail Ballot List” is a list of voters who have signed up to receive an absentee ballot before each election. Previously, Michigan voters could sign up to receive an absentee ballot application before each election. The new “Permanent Mail Ballot List” allows voters to sign up to receive a ballot before every election, eliminating the need to submit a new application each time.
Who is the Permanent Mail Ballot List for?
Any Michigan voter can join the Permanent Mail Ballot List. However, the list is best suited for voters who wish to vote from home in every election and who generally receive their absentee ballot at the same address for each election. Voters who wish to vote from home in every election, but who may not be at the same address for each election–snowbirds, for example–can also join the list, but they must remember to update their mailing address with their local clerk as necessary.
If you prefer to vote in person, whether at the polls on Election Day or before Election Day at an early voting site or your clerk’s office, we do not recommend joining the list. You will still have the option to vote absentee at a particular election, so long as you fill out an application for that election.
How do I sign up for the Permanent Mail Ballot List?
You can join the Permanent Mail Ballot List when you apply for an absentee ballot for an upcoming election, whether online, by mail, or in-person. Just check the box next to “automatically send me an absent voter ballot for each future election for which I’m eligible.”
How do I check to see whether I’m already on the Permanent Mail Ballot List?
Voters were not able to sign up for the list until May 2023. If you think you signed up for the list in May 2023 or after, we recommend contacting your city or township clerk to confirm. You can find your city or township clerk’s contact information at MI.gov/vote.
If I’m on the Permanent Mail Ballot List, will I also receive a ballot for the presidential primary?
Yes, but you will need to select which ballot you want to receive in advance of the primary.
Any Michigan voter can participate in the presidential primary, but to do so they must choose which ballot they’d like to receive (for example, a Republican ballot or a Democratic ballot), whether in person at the polls or in advance of receiving their absentee ballot.
If you join the Permanent Mail Ballot List at the same time as you apply for your ballot (and select which ballot you’d like to receive) for the presidential primary, you’re all set–no additional action needs to be taken until the next presidential primary election in 2028. If you’re already on the Permanent Mail Ballot List and you haven’t yet selected a ballot for the presidential primary, your local clerk will send you a notice about two months before the election asking you to select a ballot. We encourage you to promptly respond to that notice.
What happens if I move after joining the Permanent Mail Ballot List?
If you move within the state of Michigan and update your address with the state, you will remain on the list. However, if you move outside of the state of Michigan or you move within the state but do not update your voter registration address, you will be removed from the list.
What if I sign up for the list and then change my mind?
You can remove yourself from the list at any time by submitting a signed request for removal to your local clerk. You will also be removed from the list if you relocate to another state or move within Michigan without updating your voter registration address, if you do not cast a ballot for six consecutive years, or if you are not currently eligible to vote (for example, if you are serving a sentence).