Voters who requested absentee ballots can expect them to arrive in their mailboxes soon, as clerks began mailing them Thursday, June 25 for the Aug. 4 primary elections per the constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2018 that requires ballot mailing begin no later than 40 days prior to elections.
“No one should be forced to choose between their health and their right to vote, and in Michigan no one has to,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “We have been hard at work to ensure even in the midst of a pandemic voters have the full range of options for how to cast their ballot, and can be assured no matter how they choose to do so it will be safe and secure.”
Voters have numerous options to vote safely this election, including absentee by mail, absentee at a ballot dropbox or their local clerk’s office, in-person at their clerk’s office or satellite office in the 14 days prior to the election, or at a polling location on election day.
To ensure all options are available and safe, the Michigan Bureau of Elections is:
• Providing local jurisdictions with personalized protective equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies to protect elections workers and ensure polling locations are clean and safe for voters.
• Providing ballot drop boxes, automatic letter openers, envelope folders, and additional supplies for local jurisdictions to help them prepare for the increase in absent voter ballots and in-person voting with social distancing. Clerks also can use funding to purchase other materials to help set up polling locations with social distancing, such as sneeze guards, pens, signs and tape.
• Providing grant funding for a 50-percent match to jurisdictions to purchase additional ballot tabulators, high-speed scanners (high-speed tabulators), and high-speed tabulation software to more quickly tabulate an expected increase in absent voter ballots.
Additionally, the Michigan Department of State continues to recruit election workers to support local clerks on and before Election Day through the Democracy MVP campaign. All are encouraged to visit Michigan.gov/DemocracyMVP to learn how they can serve their community and be one of Democracy’s Most Valuable Players by serving as an election worker. This assistance is especially needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as older residents who often serve as election workers are more susceptible to the disease.
Michiganders who have not yet registered to vote and would like to, or are registered and would like to request an absentee ballot, should visit Michigan.gov/Vote.