The Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections has launched an online platform to provide voters with another method of digitally submitting their absent voter ballot application at Michigan.gov/Vote.
“The more choices a person has when it comes to exercising their right to vote, the better they are able to make the choice that works best for them” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “This tool provides another digital option for voters to safely and conveniently apply to receive their absentee ballot, while also offering clerks an easy, cost efficient way of processing the application securely.”
Voters can already submit applications digitally by scanning and emailing their signed applications to clerks. In order to utilize the new tool to request the absentee ballot online, voters must have a Michigan driver’s license or state ID, and submit the same information required to register to vote digitally, including their driver’s license number and the last four digits of their Social Security number.
When they complete their application, voters can then use the tool to send the handwritten signature they provided for their driver’s license or state ID card, and the completed application, to their local clerk through the state’s Qualified Voter File software. Clerks will be alerted of the request and be able to see the application and signature. After verification, local clerks are then able to mail the ballot to the voter within the appropriate timeframe for the election they’ve requested to vote absentee. Voters will continue to cast ballots the same way. They must still mail back paper ballots to the clerk’s office, deposit them in a drop box or cast a ballot in person with the clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Voters must sign the ballot return envelope and the signature must be verified and matched to the voter’s record for the ballot to be counted.
To fill out an online application, registered voters can visit Michigan.gov/Vote and click “Apply for an Absent Voter Ballot Online.”