Ready to Vote: A primer to exercising the right to vote

(WWMT/MGN Online)

Absentee Voting

Absentee ballots are available for all registered voters. Requests to have one mailed to you must be received by 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election. The applications are also available online through the Michigan Secretary of State's office.

  • Military and overseas voting: Go to's page on absentee voting
  • Michigan residents can vote by absentee ballot if any of these conditions apply: 60 years or older; unable to vote without assistance at the polls; out of town on Election Day; in jail awaiting arraignment or trial; unable to attend polls due to religious reasons; or appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside your residence area.
  • Voters can download an absentee ballot application from the Michigan Secretary of State's website.

Rides to the polls

A number of area churches, including Mt. Zion Baptist Church and First United Baptist Church, are offering free rides to the polls, in partnership with the Kalamazoo Black Caucus. Anyone who needs a ride is encouraged to call one of these phone numbers to schedule an appointment:

  • 269-381-3996
  • 269-568-8992
  • 269-491-0782 or 269-388-3111
  • 269-568-8993

Interesting facts to remember

No, you can’t wear election-related clothing to the polls: Michigan has prohibited the practice of displaying election-related materials at the polls for decades. That includes clothing and buttons. Anyone going to the polls with a shirt or button bearing election-related images or slogans will be asked to cover or remove it.

No, you cannot use your camera at the polls: The use of video cameras, still cameras and other recording devices are prohibited at the polls. This includes still cameras and other recording features built into many cell phones.

Yes, absentee ballots are always counted: They are counted on Election Day along with all ballots voted at the polls.

Michigan has about 30,000 poll workers in 4,800 precincts and 1,500 cities and townships.

No straight-ticket voting: At least you can't click a single box to vote for all candidates on one party for this election. Voters must select a candidate for each race in which they want to cast a vote.

There are 7.4 million registered voters in Michigan. According to the Secretary of State's Office, 4.87 million people voted in the 2016 election. In the last mid-term election, 3,18 million people voted.

How to register

Election dates and times

Polls are open in Michigan from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. (Note that four counties in the Upper Peninsula, Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson and Menominee are in the central time zone)

  • Aug. 7, 2018: Michigan Primary
  • Nov. 6, 2018: General Election

Find your polling place

View sample ballots

Reporting problems at the polls

U.S. Department of Justice election complaints can be filed through the election complaint reporting page.

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