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Absent voter ballot application period begins in Michigan

The application period to request an absent voter ballot for the Nov. 3 general election opened Thursday and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson encourages voters to sign up to vote absentee and return their ballots as early as possible.

“With a record-breaking number of absentee ballots cast in our August primary, Michigan voters have made their desire to vote from home abundantly clear,” Benson said. “They recognize and trust that it is a safe, secure and convenient way to participate in our democracy, and we will continue doing all we can to ensure voters understand their rights and how to exercise them ahead of November.”

All registered voters can apply for an absent voter ballot and may do so by filling out an online form at Michigan.gov/Vote and providing information including their driver’s license or state ID card number and the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Alternatively, voters may print out an application form from the site and send it, or a written, signed request for a ballot, to their clerk. They can mail their request, email a scan or photo of it or deliver it in person. Voters can find their city or township clerk’s contact information at Michigan.gov/Vote.

Do not send applications — or completed ballots — to the county clerk.

Voters with print disabilities may apply online for an accessible electronic absent voter ballot at Michigan.gov/Vote or Michigan.gov/AccessibleBallot. The accessible ballot can be completed electronically, printed and returned to the city or township clerk.

Clerks will begin mailing out regular absent voter ballots on Sept. 24. They will be available for early, in-person voting in clerks’ offices on that date as well.

A ballot-tracking tool on the Michigan.gov/Vote site allows voters to check when their clerk received their absentee ballot request, when they mailed out the ballot and when they received the ballot back from the voter.

Voters applying for absent voter ballots online or through the mail should do it as soon as possible. After Oct. 19, voters are advised to go to their clerk’s office in person if possible, where they can receive their ballot and vote it while they are there.

Voters have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to complete their absentee ballot and return it to the clerk’s office. It is recommended that voters deliver their ballot as early as possible to a drop box if their clerk has one, to the clerk’s office in person or by mail at least two weeks ahead of the election.

For more information on absentee voting, or to register to vote, go online to Michigan.gov/Vote.

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