Dear Friend,

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights of a functioning democracy. Any U.S. citizen who is at least age 18 on Election Day is eligible to vote — but before you can cast a ballot, you must register. Voter registration forms are available at any Secretary of State office, online at, or from your local clerk. This brochure outlines what you need to know about registering to vote and voting.

This election year, make sure your voice is heard — register and vote!

If you want to share your thoughts or suggestions on voting and voting laws, or any other issue, please call my office at (517) 373-2406, including a toll-free option at (855) DIST018 (855-347-8018). If you would like to be more informed about my work at the Capitol and in-district activities, consider signing up for my biweekly email updates online at

It’s an honor to continue to serve you in the legislature as your state senator.

Working for you,

Jeff Irwin
State Senator
18th District

Phone: (517) 373-2406

Voting On Election Day

To Vote
Simply show up at your assigned polling place on Election Day.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Your Voter Identification Card lists your precinct number and the location of your assigned polling place. If you do not receive your card within three weeks after registering, contact your city or township clerk’s office to confirm your registration status. You can also check your voting status online at the Michigan Voter Information Center at

Voter ID Requirement
When you arrive at your polling place to vote, state law requires you to either show a picture ID or sign an affidavit attesting that you are not in possession of a picture ID.

You can satisfy the ID requirement by showing a Michigan driver’s license or state ID card. If you do not possess either document, you may show any of the following forms of picture ID if it is current:

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

Online registration deadline: 15 days before Election Day.

Mail registration deadline: Must be postmarked 15 days before the election.

In-person registration deadline: Within 14 days of the election, up to and including Election Day (by 8 p.m. that day), you can register to vote at your city or township clerk’s office. You must provide documentation (driver’s license or state ID, utility bill, bank statement, or other government documents) that proves your address.

You can register to vote for federal, state and local elections by mail, at your county, city, or township clerk’s office, by visiting any Secretary of State office, or online at

You may also register at the same time you renew your driver’s license by mail. Eligible drivers will receive a voter registration application in the mail along with their driver’s license renewal information.

Voter ID Requirement
If you are registering to vote in person, state law requires you to show a picture ID or sign an affidavit attesting to your identity and that you are not currently in possession of a picture ID. See the “Voter ID Requirement” section located inside this brochure.

Change of Address
If you move within a city or township, you must update your address, as your precinct may have changed. This can be handled through your local clerk, at a Secretary of State branch, online at, by mail or at any other location where voter registrations are accepted. Whenever you move to a new city or township, you must re-register to vote.

Voters must use the same residential address for their voter registration and driver’s license. When you submit a driver’s license address change, it will be applied to your voter registration. Similarly, when you submit a voter registration address change, it will be applied to your driver’s license, and you will be mailed a sticker to put on the back of your license.

To register to vote, you must be:

  • A U.S. Citizen 
  • At least 18 years old by Election Day
  • A resident of Michigan and the city or township where you are applying to register to vote
  • Voters Who Require Voting Assistance

Special accommodations are available for voters who are disabled.

If you require voting assistance, ask the election workers for help; a reason for assistance does not have to be stated. Two inspectors will assist you in the voting station.

An elector who is blind, disabled, or unable to read or write may be assisted with their ballot by any person of the voter’s choice other than the voter’s employer or agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of a union to which the voter belongs.

A voter-assisted terminal is available for use by voters who are disabled. This ballot-marking device is designed to independently permit voters who are disabled to vote or cast a ballot without the assistance of another person.

For more information, contact your city or township clerk. Hearing-impaired residents may contact the Bureau of Elections at (800) 292-5973, or by calling the Michigan Relay Center toll-free at (844) 578-6563.

Voters in the Military and Outside the United States
A Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) form can be used to register. The FPCA form is available online at from the Federal Voting Assistance Program and is distributed through U.S. embassies and military bases. A Michigan resident who moves and registers out-of-state may not re-register to vote in Michigan until they reestablish residency here.

Absentee Ballot
All registered voters can vote using an absentee ballot, for any reason, no questions asked. You can vote through the mail without leaving your home. If you want to avoid the Election Day rush at the polls, you can go to your local clerk’s office and request a ballot and vote on the spot. Basically, you can vote on your own terms.

Voting by Absentee Ballot
To vote absentee, you must turn in an absentee ballot application to your clerk. You can find an application at your local clerk’s office by visiting them or by calling to request one by mail. You can also request an absentee ballot online through the online absentee voter request form or download an application to return by mail or in-person.

Send the completed application to your city or township clerk. Find contact information for your city or township clerk online at the Michigan Voter Information Center at

Emergency Absentee Ballots
If an emergency, like a sudden illness or family death, prevents you from reaching the polls on Election Day, you may request an emergency absentee voter ballot.

Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absentee voter ballots has passed, but before 4 p.m. on Election Day.

The emergency must have occurred at a time which made it impossible for you to apply for a regular absentee voter ballot. Please contact your local clerk for more information about emergency absentee voter ballots.

Absentee Voters in the Military and Outside the U.S.
A Federal Postcard Application also can be used to apply for an absentee ballot if you are a military voter, a spouse or dependent of a military voter, or outside the U.S. The law also permits such voters to receive their ballot electronically via email or fax. For more information, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program at or the Michigan Bureau of Elections at