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May 5 election: Special rules in place

Because of an emergency executive order issued by the Governor (Executive Order 2020-27), the election on Tuesday, May 5, will be conducted primarily by mail to limit possible exposure to COVID-19.

The Secretary of State strongly encourages voters in the 33 counties holding elections to cast ballots by mail, which will be easy to do in this election. State and local election officials will provide easy, safe access to the vote by mail process.

There will be limited in-person voting on Election Day – including access for voters with disabilities who prefer to use Voter Assist Terminals.

Download the Vote from Home information sheet

vote from home flyerApplying for an absent voter ballot

All voters who have an election were mailed an absent voter ballot application by the Michigan Secretary of State, which included a postage prepaid envelope, preaddressed to the local election clerk.

Voters can also complete and return an absent voter ballot application – or any signed, written request for an absent ballot – BY EMAIL, as long as the signature is visible. Scan or photograph it and email it to your clerk.

If you did not receive an application and believe you have an election, contact your local clerk. You can find your clerk’s information, as well as personalized voting information, at Michigan.gov/Vote.

Voting and returning an absent voter ballot

When voters receive their absentee ballot in the mail, they should vote it, place it into the secrecy sleeve and the return envelope. Then they should sign and seal the return envelope, for which the postage has been paid.

Ballots should be placed in the mail today to allow enough time for delivery by Election Day or voters should take it to their clerk’s office. Some jurisdictions offer a drop box for absentee ballot returns.

Limited in-person voting to be available

Limited in-person voting is still available for voters who are unable to vote an absent voter ballot, or who may have a disability or condition that prevents them from voting absentee without special assistance. There will not be traditional polling places, but there will be at least one in-person voting location in each city/township that will be outfitted with ballot issuance capabilities and Voter Assist Terminals.

The Bureau of Elections is working with local election clerks to conduct a secure election that protects the health and safety of election workers and the public.

Voters who cannot cast ballots by mail will be asked to observe social distancing and other safety and hygiene practices when voting on Election Day. Please check with your local clerk’s office for information on where and how to vote.

You can register to vote through Election Day

Citizens who are not yet registered to vote but who wish to do so in the May 5 election may do so at the office of their local clerk up until 8 p.m. on Election Day but are strongly encouraged to contact the clerk’s office before doing so.

To minimize social interaction, the Governor’s executive order allows township or city clerks to accept voter registration applications by mail, email or fax for this election.

Download a voter registration application

Download a large-print voter registration application

Under the executive order, applications to vote that are properly submitted will also be considered requests for an absent voter ballot for the May 5 election and the clerk will send one to the voter.

Be democracy’s MVP:
Sign up to be an election worker today!

Election workers are the Most Valuable Players of our democracy, ensuring free and fair elections for all. And our democracy needs election workers more than ever for the upcoming elections in August and November. Serving as an election worker is a paid position, and all election workers are trained on proper protocols.

During the coronavirus crisis, election workers are needed to assist clerks and count ballots. They will adhere to strict public health guidelines, including exercising social distancing, using sanitary equipment, and maintaining strong hygiene to protect themselves and others from coronavirus transmission.

Interested voters can sign up at Michigan.gov/DemocracyMVP.

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