Voter Education Matters

Photo of LWV Detroit Board Members at the LWVUS National Convention

Our elected officials make decisions that affect our daily lives. Because of this, elections are our chance to stand up for what matters most to us and voice our opinions on issues that affect us, our communities, our families, and our future. Every voter should have the information they need to make an informed decision when they cast their ballot.

The League provides straightforward, nonpartisan information about candidates and ballot issues. Below is the most up-to-date information on Michigan’s new voting rights and laws.

Want information on early voting sites in your community, your polling place on Election Day, and the locations of all secure drop boxes with the city of Detroit? Visit VOTE411.org.


Below is the Michigian LWV updated 2024 Voter Information Brochure that contains information on our new voting rights.

2024VoterinformationBrochure-2

Also, be sure to read the MichiganVoting.org Know Your Voting Rights Guide, which has been updated for the February 2024 Presidential Primary Election.



The “Permanent Mail Ballot List” lists voters who have signed up to receive an absentee ballot before each election. Previously, Michigan voters could sign up to receive an absentee ballot application before each election. The NEW “Permanent Mail Ballot List” allows voters to sign up to receive a ballot before every election, eliminating the need to submit a new application each time.

Any Michigan voter can join the Permanent Mail Ballot List. However, the list is best suited for voters who wish to vote from home in every election and who generally receive their absentee ballot at the same address for each election. Voters who wish to vote from home in every election but who may not be at the same address for each election ⏤ snowbirds, for example ⏤ can also join the list, but they must remember to update their mailing address with their local clerk as necessary.

Signing up for the Permanent Mail Ballot List means voters will automatically receive a ballot before every election, eliminating the need to submit a new application each time.

Voters can sign up for the NEW Permanent Mail Ballot List as they apply for their ballot for the Presidential Primary. To do so, they can check the relevant box on the application:

Voters who have already joined the Permanent Mail Ballot List should have received a form in the mail (a “ballot-style selection form”) from their local clerk asking them to select a ballot style. Permanent mail ballot voters must complete this form to receive an absentee ballot for the Presidential Primary! Voters who have received this form but have not yet returned it to their local clerk should do so ASAP. And voters who did not receive such a form should contact their clerk ASAP.

How do I sign up for the Permanent Mail Ballot List?

You can join the Permanent Mail Ballot List when you apply for an absentee ballot for an upcoming election, whether online, by mail, or in person. Just check the box next to “automatically send me an absent voter ballot for each future election for which I’m eligible.”​​

How do I check whether I’m already on the Permanent Mail Ballot List?

Voters were not able to sign up for the list until May 2023. If you think you signed up for the list in May 2023 or after, we recommend contacting your city or township clerk to confirm. You can find your city or township clerk’s contact information at MI.gov/vote.

If I’m on the Permanent Mail Ballot List, will I also receive a ballot for the presidential primary?

Yes, but you must select which ballot you want to receive before the primary.

Any Michigan voter can participate in the presidential primary, but to do so, they must choose which ballot they’d like to receive (for example, a Republican ballot or a Democratic ballot), whether in person at the polls or in advance of receiving their absentee ballot.

If you join the Permanent Mail Ballot List at the same time as you apply for your ballot (and select which ballot you’d like to receive) for the presidential primary, you’re all set ⏤ no additional action needs to be taken until the next presidential primary election in 2028. If you’re already on the Permanent Mail Ballot List and haven’t yet selected a ballot for the presidential primary, your local clerk will send you a notice about two months before the election asking you to select a ballot. We encourage you to respond to that notice promptly.

What happens if I move after joining the Permanent Mail Ballot List?

If you move within Michigan and update your address with the state, you will remain on the list. However, if you move outside of Michigan or within the state but do not update your voter registration address, you will be removed from the list.

What if I sign up for the list and then change my mind?

You can remove yourself from the list anytime by submitting a signed request for removal to your local clerk. You will also be removed from the list if you relocate to another state or move within Michigan without updating your voter registration address, if you do not cast a ballot for six consecutive years, or if you are not currently eligible to vote (for example, if you are serving a sentence).

Watch this video on How to Sign Up to Receive a Ballot by Mail for all Future Elections:


Early Voting

Sidewalk sandwich board with EARLY VOTING HERE and picture of American Flag
Early Voting Sign

A bit of background: Thanks to Prop 2 of 2022, Michigan voters now have the right to vote early at an early voting site for at least nine consecutive days before each statewide and federal election. Cities and townships also have the flexibility to offer early voting in additional elections (and to add additional days and hours beyond what the Constitution requires).

MDOS_EarlyVoting

Absentee Voting

Prop 2022-2 gives voters a constitutional right to receive an absentee ballot before each election by submitting a single signed application covering all future elections.

Voters can apply for an absentee ballot in all the usual ways: online (if they have a current Michigan driver’s license or state ID card), by completing a paper application in person at their city or township clerk’s office, or by mailing a completed paper application to their city or township clerk. 

Absentee ballots are available to voters at least one month before an election.

  • Apply for your ballot ASAP if you plan to vote from home. Doing so will ensure you have enough time to receive your ballot, complete it, and return it to your city or township clerk by the deadline. If you join the Permanent Mail Ballot List in or after May 2023, you will automatically receive a ballot in the mail. 
  • Get a paper application from your city or township clerk, or find one online at mi.gov/vote. Voters with a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID card can also complete the online application. Voters needing an accessible electronic absentee ballot can apply for one online here.
  • To vote by absentee ballot in person, visit your clerk’s office, request a ballot, vote it, and return it all in one trip. 

For more details on how to vote by absentee ballot before Election Day, visit MichiganVoting.org. 

NOTE: If you want your absentee ballot to count, sign the ballot envelope with your official signature. (A voter’s “official signature” is used to sign official documents.) In November 2020 alone, more than 3,200 ballots were rejected because of signature issues –  either the voter did not sign the ballot envelope or the city or township clerk found that the voter’s signature did not sufficiently match the signature on file. While a voter can correct these issues by visiting their clerk’s office, doing so can often be difficult and time-consuming.

WebPage

And remember, you can track your ballot AND your application by going to MI.gov/vote and clicking “your voter information” (see below for more info).

Watch this YouTube video on Absentee Voting (produced by Get Out The Vote and the City of Southfield, MI). Never mind the video’s 2020 production date; its absentee voting information is still relevant today.

Also, check out the LWV YouTube video on absentee ballot voting (directly below). To view, click the red Play button.

LWV YouTube Channel: Waiting for Democracy

Early-Voting-vs.-Absentee-Voting-Two-Pager

Proof of residency is required to register to vote.

Proof of residency is a document with your name and current address in your city or township. Paper or electronic copies of any of the following documents will work: 

  • A Michigan driver’s license or state ID card.
  • A utility bill.
  • A bank statement.
  • A paycheck.
  • A government check.
  • Any other government document.

Voters who are “housing insecure” often have difficulty providing documents that match their voter registration address and can serve as proof of residency. Housing insecure voters can register and vote using any of these as their address: 

  • A street corner.
  • A park.
  • A shelter. 
  • An advocacy or outreach center.
  • The home of someone who will accept their mail.
  • Any other place where they usually stay.

Where to Vote in Detroit

For a list of Early Voting Centers and Drop Box locations in Detroit, see the flyer below (or click HERE). NOTE: Voters may only use the drop boxes located in the jurisdiction where they are registered. For example, a registered voter in Warren may use any drop box in Warren, but they may not use a drop box in neighboring Sterling Heights. For more info about drop boxes, please visit MichiganVoting.org.

EVC-Notice

Polling Places in Detroit, MI

Polls and Polling Times for Detroit, MI: 7 am to 8 pm

Click here to find the latest polling places at the Michigan elections siteNote: polling place locations and times are subject to change.

Click here to view our 2024 Detroit, MI Election Guide, where you can find information and links regarding absentee voting, candidates, polling places, registration, and much more.



Elected Officials Guide

While VOTE411.org offers information on current election candidates and proposals, the Elected Officials Guide lists elected officials and their contact information.

If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions about what’s happening in your neighborhood or city, use this guide to find elected government officials and their contact information. Your representatives do read their mail, phone messages, and emails! 

2022-Elected-Officials-Guide-1

Election Security

From the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC): The security of voting systems is essential to a trustworthy election. Every state and local jurisdiction utilizes common-sense procedures and tools to safeguard the voting process. Common best practices include using locks, tamper-evident seals, security cameras, system testing before and after elections, audits, and physical and cybersecurity access controls.

The EAC guide outlines the many best practices local election officials follow to secure voting systems through an election cycle. It’s important to note this is a broad list of common security measures and procedures to protect the integrity of an election. Security measures may vary based on the voting systems used in state and local jurisdictions.

Following are sources and links further explaining election security practices:

● The MI Vote Counts webinar breaks down Michigan’s election security procedures, including what happens to ballots after polls close, the canvassing and certification process, election audits, and election records security. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RECORDING OF THIS EVENT. The following are handouts relevant to this session:

How to report misinformation

Election misinformation

● Read this Detroit Free Press op-ed piece (October 18, 2022) from a metro area city clerk ⏤ Opinion: I’m a clerk. This is what you should know about election security.

● MI Vote Counts hosted a webinar (September 20, 2022) on Absentee Voting Security, breaking down the security practices of Michigan’s elections and absentee voting, including how ballots are returned by mail or drop box, the signature verification process, and how we make sure nobody can vote twice. Watch the recording HERE. Included below are session handouts:

How to report misinformation

Election misinformation

● Three Detroit-area election clerks discuss Michigan Election laws and safety measures local clerks take to ensure your ballot and vote are safe and secure before election day. Learn about registering to vote, different methods of voting in Michigan, and where to go for information:

1. Adam Wit, Harrison Township Clerk ⏤ https://youtu.be/7WW-Zb9oqqk 

2. Kim Meltzer, Clinton Township Clerk ⏤ https://youtu.be/1fjsrozEg_0 

3. Melanie Ryska, Sterling Heights Clerk ⏤ https://youtu.be/CsWmKkZT2FY 


VERIFYIT! Online Game

VERIFYIT! is a free online educational game offering practice in examining news articles, current questions about voting, and facts about our government. Explore VerifyIt! at  https://verifyit.buzz

Misunderstanding voting rules and online misinformation/disinformation makes it particularly difficult for young and first-time voters. The League’s inability to speak with them and interact directly during the pandemic has created a real challenge for our youth outreach programs. 

The League of Women Voters of Alameda has addressed this challenge with the development of an online game to meet young voters in their online learning environment. 

LWV of Alameda is making this game available to sister leagues to support League efforts to educate and motivate young people to participate in their democracy.

Explore VerifyIt! at https://verifyit.buzz