PREPARE, PLAN & PARTICIPATE ahead of November 3 General Election

Prepare Plan Participate in the November 3, 2020 General Election

OCTOBER 15, 2020

on November 3


Whether you’re planning to vote in person on Nov. 3, or are completing an absentee ballot ahead of time, we know that you need accurate and verifiable information about how to vote. But with so much misinformation out there, it can be hard to get the straight facts.

The Ottawa County Clerk’s Office aims to cut through the noise with our ‘Prepare, Plan, Participate’ information campaign. Over the next few weeks, keep an eye out for election facts and important links that serve to better equip you with the knowledge you need this election season. Our first subject in this series is how to prepare to vote.

Week 1: Prepare

Are You Registered?
Click on image
Ottawa Votes logo

To be eligible to vote in any election, you must be registered. Michigan offers a number of ways to register: online, by mail, or in person.

Not sure if you’re registered? Check your status by visiting and click on “Am I registered?” 

To register online or by mail, you have until Monday, October 19. 

From October 20th through 8 p.m. on Election Day, you must register in-person with your local city or township clerk.

To find your clerk's office, visit or

When you register to vote in person, make sure to bring:

  • A photo ID
    • This includes any state or federal ID, including out of state IDs or expired Michigan IDs
  • Proof of residency
    • This may be your current address on your Michigan ID, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or any government document

Know Your Candidates

From U.S. president all the way down to your local city or township treasurer, it’s important to know who you’re voting for! A little research can go a long way.

The best sources of candidate information include:

To find your sample ballot, go to and select “Find My Polling Place” or enter your information at


Consider the Source

So much has changed since the 2016 election. The continued growth of social media and the unpredictability of the pandemic has changed the way we as Americans receive our information and increased the spread of misinformation.

Voters receive election information from candidates, political parties, interest groups, and individuals on social media. This information can be incorrect, incomplete, outdated, or deliberately misleading. 

When consuming election information, ask yourself:

  • Who produced this information?
  • Can this information be proven true or false?

If you see information about when or where to vote, or how to get a ballot, make sure that information is coming from your local election officials.

What if I have more questions?

For more information about voting in Ottawa County, go to; follow us on Facebook @OCClerkRegister; Twitter @OttawaElections; or call us at (616) 994-4535.

With accurate information, #OttawaVotes.