State Senator Jim Ananich| Voter Education Newsletter

This year, an incredibly important election will take place and I want you to have the information you need to be prepared.

Despite the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, having an election is something we can all still count on. Thanks to changes in Michigan’s election law, voting from home has never been easier. Now more than ever, we need leadership at all levels of government to help us navigate what’s next and find ways we can all come together for the best interests of our state and nation.

Included in this newsletter are local and state resources on voting. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Working for you,

Senator Jim Ananich
Senate District 27

Toll-free: (855) DIST027 or (855) 347-8027
Download a PDF version of the newsletter


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Redistricting and the 2020 Census

Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, district lines for all political offices must be redrawn in states across the country to accurately reflect their population. In Michigan, a randomly selected commission of residents will be responsible for drawing U.S. Congressional and Michigan House and Senate district lines.

Voters amended the state Constitution in November 2018 to give Michigan residents — not legislators or special interest groups — the responsibility to redraw district lines, called “redistricting.” This commission will be composed of 13 randomly selected Michigan registered voters: four affiliated with the Democratic Party, four affiliated with the Republican Party, and five who do not affiliate with either major political party.

This year is also a Census year, and it has never been easier to participate. By returning your completed Census form, you are helping Michigan to be represented in Congress and determining how much funding we get for Head Start, health care, schools, roads, and our local communities.

Visit to complete your questionnaire. Your login information is a 12-digit number located on the packet sent to you earlier this year. If you do not have a number or cannot locate those materials, the website also has a link to redirect you. If you want to complete your Census form via phone, call 1-844-330-2020.

Important note: Census workers will never ask for any personally identifiable information, such as your bank account or social security numbers.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed the dates of when certain phases of the Census will take place, but all you need to do is remember to fill out and return your form.

Census Date Changes

Data gathering beginsJanuary 2020January 2020
Data gathering endsJuly 31, 2020October 31, 2020*
Data for congressional reappointment dueDecember 31, 2020April 30, 2021**
Data for redistricting by the states dueMarch 31, 2021July 31, 2021**
* Date change made by the Census Bureau **Changes the bureau requested from Congress
Please visit the website above for more information on the Census, the questions it asks, and who it counts per household.

Important Election Dates

As it currently exists, Michigan law states the following as deadlines for this year’s November general election:

October 19
Last day to register in any manner, other than in-person, with the local clerk for the November general election.

October 20 through 8:00 p.m. November 3
In-person registration, with proof of residency, at the local clerk’s office.

November 3
Statewide general election.

Who is on the Ballot?
While the specific names of individuals — especially in the state House and local elections — vary by district, the following offices are up for election in 2020:

ELECTION 2020: Voting from Home Essentials

Many of us have seen the pictures of our fellow Americans heading to the polls during this pandemic, and, unfortunately, exposing themselves to the possibility of contracting COVID-19 while doing so. Here in Michigan, we continue to plan our next steps in ensuring we fulfill our constitutional right without putting ourselves — and others — at risk.

Fortunately, recent changes to Michigan’s election law mean you don’t even have to leave your home to vote, and if you do, poll workers will be wearing personal protective equipment and engaging in proper health protocols.

Ways to complete your absent voter ballot application

No-reason absentee voting now provides all registered voters the ability to vote by mail. If you have not received an application, you may contact your local clerk to request one. This form gives you the option to receive an absentee ballot in order to vote by mail. Once a voter signs their application, they can mail or email a photo of it to their local clerk, whose contact information is included on the application.

The application is also available for download at, where you can register and join the permanent absent voter list, so you always have the option to vote from home if you so choose.

On Friday, June 12, 2020, the Secretary of State’s office announced a new, online absentee voter application platform. By visiting, you can:

• Check your voter registration status.
All eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.

NEW! Complete and return an absent voter ballot application online. You can now fill out and return your absent voter ballot application online at To use the online application, you need to be registered to vote in Michigan and have a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID.

Not sure where your polling location is or who your city or county clerk are?* can help you find that answer. Some jurisdictions provide a sample ballot so you can know who — and what — you’re voting on before you head to the polls or complete your absentee ballot.

Available information on

• Who/where your clerk is;
• Online voter registration;
• Online absent voter ballot application;
• Military and overseas voters;
• Working at the polls;
• Voting equipment;
• Statewide ballot proposals;
• Candidate information links;
• Acceptable voter identification at the polls*; and,
• Registered voters by county.

*As the website also indicates, while it is strongly encouraged, you are not required to have identification when you go to the polls so long as you are prepared to sign a legally binding affidavit attesting to your identity.

To date, of the 7.7 million registered voters in the state, about 1.3 million are on the permanent absent voter list.

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