NEWS RELEASE: Secretary Johnson reminds residents to register to vote ahead of May election

Media Release from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

-- For immediate release --

Secretary Johnson reminds residents to register to vote ahead of May election

Every Vote Counts

Absentee ballots available for those who qualify

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan residents have until Monday, April 3 to register to vote in the May 2 election, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today.

“Voting provides everyone with an opportunity to be heard through the ballot they cast,” Johnson said. “All qualified Michigan residents are encouraged to register and then vote on Election Day.”

“The importance of local elections cannot be understated because of the effect the results have on our day-to-day lives,” said Johnson, Michigan’s chief election officer. “I encourage all Michigan residents qualified to get registered and then cast a ballot on Election Day.”

Of Michigan’s 83 counties, 61 will hold elections. To find out if their community is holding an election, voters can visit for more information.

To register to vote, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and U.S. citizens. Applicants also must be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register. Polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters may register by mail or in person at their county, city or township clerk’s office or by visiting any Secretary of State office. The mail-in form is available at First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60 years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

To check their registration status, residents may visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at They can see their sample ballot and find their polling place. Residents also can find information on absentee voting, Michigan’s voter identification requirement, how to use voting equipment and how to contact their local clerk. The site can be easily viewed on a smartphone.

Voters who qualify may choose to cast an absentee ballot. As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee ballot if you are age 60 or older; physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another; expecting to be absent from the community in which you are registered for the entire time the polls will be open on Election Day; in jail awaiting arraignment or trial; unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons or will be working as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

Those who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29. Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. Monday, May 1. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, May 1, must fill out the ballot in the clerk’s office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.

As a reminder, voters will be asked to provide identification when at the polls on Election Day or if obtaining an absentee ballot in person from the clerk’s office. They will be asked to present valid photo ID, such as a Michigan driver’s license or identification card. Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or failed to bring it with them can still vote. They will be required to sign a brief affidavit stating that they’re not in possession of photo ID. Their ballot will be included with all others and counted on Election Day.

Voters who don’t have a Michigan driver’s license or identification card can show the following forms of photo ID, as long as they are current:

  • Driver’s license or personal identification card issued by another state.
  • Federal or state government-issued photo identification.
  • U.S. passport.
  • Military identification card with photo.
  • Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, such as a college or university.
  • Tribal identification card with photo.

For media questions, please call Fred Woodhams at 517-373-2520.

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