Voter advocates say absentee ballots take hassle out of Election Day

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Voting advocates say more and more Michiganders are choosing to cast absentee ballots to save time and avoid long lines on Election Day.

In 2020, two-thirds of the 5.5 million votes cast in Michigan were mail-in or absentee ballots. Although turnout is historically lower for midterm elections, officials expect voting early will remain a popular option this time around.

Lynna Kaucheck, communications and development coordinator for Progress Michigan, said if you want to vote with an early ballot, you have to ask for one.

“You need to request a ballot even if you’re on the permanent absentee voter list,” Kaucheck noted. “You can do that online, by mail, by calling your city or township clerk’s office and requesting a ballot, or just going to your clerk’s office and requesting the ballot.”

Kaucheck stressed voters must request an early ballot by Nov. 4.

The ballot must be either mailed by Oct. 25, or returned by hand to your county or township clerk’s office, a drop box provided by your clerk, or a satellite office of your clerk by Nov. 8.

Kaucheck added it is easy to follow your ballot through the process by logging on to the Secretary of State’s Michigan Voter Information Center at Mi.gov/vote.

“Once you go in to check your ballot, it will tell you if your clerk has received your application,” Kaucheck outlined. “Once they’ve mailed it, it will show that they’ve mailed it. Once you submit it, and they receive it, it will show that they have received it.”

Elections usually go smoothly in Michigan, but Kaucheck suggested if you have questions about your mail-in ballot or any other facet of voting, there is help online.

“All of our information comes from michiganvoting.org,” Kaucheck explained. “It’s a voter education site. It’s nonpartisan, and it’s been reviewed by legal experts. It’s very factual.”

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