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This election type only happens every 4 years - please visit this helpful guide or this Michigan guide.
Voters may register in person, online, or by mail up to 14 days prior to an election. You may register to vote at the Office of the City Clerk, any Michigan Secretary of State Branch Office, or online at the Michigan Voter Information Center. You may also register to vote by mail.
Voters may also register within 14 days of an election, up to and including Election Day, only through the following:
By law, voters must be 30-day residents of a jurisdiction to be qualified to vote in that jurisdiction.
No, you do not have to register each time. Registration is permanent as long as you continue to live in the city or township where you are registered.
You can register online at the Michigan Voter Information Center. You can also register at any of the 131 Secretary of State Offices, the office of your local city or township clerk, the office of your county clerk and other state offices.
Yes, you must mail a completed voter registration application postmarked on or before 14 days prior to the next election you wish to vote in. If you have never registered to vote in Michigan and choose to mail in your application, you will need to verify your identity by including the following:
All registered voters are eligible to vote via absentee ballot. Ballots may be obtained via postal mail until 5 p.m. the Friday before an election. Ballots may also be requested in person directly at the Office of the City Clerk up until 4 p.m. the Monday before an election - however, any ballots requested the day before the election must be voted immediately at City Hall.
As of 2023, there are two 'permanent' lists Michigan voters may sign-up for. The Permanent Application List allows voters to receive an application which, when returned to their local clerk, enables them to receive an absentee ballot for the upcoming election. If a voter has signed-up for the Permanent Application List, their application must be returned before a ballot will be sent out. Recent changes to Michigan Election Law introduced the Permanent Absentee Ballot List, which voters may sign-up for if they intend to vote via absentee ballot for every election. Voters who sign-up for this list must complete a one time application which applies to all future elections.
Status on either list follows a voter if they move or change jurisdictions. Voters may request they be removed from either list.
No. Election law allows for only the registered voter to obtain a ballot. However, you may pick up an application for an absentee ballot for your spouse and you can deliver a voted ballot of any member of your immediate family or any a member of your household.
No - election law specifically states that power of attorney does not apply for voting purposes.
Voters interested in absentee voting for every elections may sign-up for the Permanent Ballot List. Voters who have completed the one time application can expect to receive an absentee ballot prior to each election.
Voters must ask to be on the list. The City Clerk’s Office cannot put voters on the permanent list without a request from the voter. You can call the Office at 269-329-4511 or email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are two permanent lists currently in effect. The first list is the Permanent Absentee Application List. Voters on this list will receive an application to vote absentee prior to each election. This application must be returned to the local clerk in order for a ballot to be sent. The second list is the Permanent Ballot List, which voters may sign-up for to receive an absentee ballot in all future elections after completing a one time application. It is important to know which list you are on to know what you need to do to receive your ballot.
If you are on the Permanent Ballot List and have not received your ballot, or have your returned your absentee ballot application and have not received your ballot, please call the Office of the City Clerk at (269) 329-4511.
Receiving an absentee ballot application does not obligate the voter to cast an absentee ballot for that election. If a voter receives an absentee ballot application but doesn’t want to vote in that particular election or wants to vote in person on Election Day, they can simply throw the form away (or shred it). If the voter does not return the request form there is no consequence to the voter’s registration status, their ability to vote in person on election day, their ability to request an absentee ballot for future elections, or their place on the permanent list.
Absentee Ballots can be delivered to the Office of the City Clerk at Portage City Hall (7900 South Westnedge Avenue) or dropped in any of the conveniently located Official Absentee Voter Ballot Drop Boxes around the city.
Official Absentee Voter Ballot Drop Box Locations:
All locations are on or near a Metro bus line. The drop boxes are available 24/7 during the 40 days leading up to an election and are monitored by video camera, in accordance with Michigan Election Law.
To learn more about the tabulators and voter assist terminals used by Kalamazoo County, visit https://www.essvote.com/faqs/.
Signature requirements for mailed ballots allow election officials to verify a mailed ballot has been filled out by the correct voter. Signatures on file are compared with those on the envelope containing mailed ballots. Measures are in place to ensure ballots are as private as those completed at a polling booth. Mailed ballots are typically delivered to and picked up from the post office by two election office staff and transported in a secure container. These ballots are also processed by teams of election staff to ensure the integrity of the counting process.
Transparency is a critical part of election security. Almost all processes and procedures require two or more trained personnel be involved, and these election workers have taken an oath to uphold state election laws and protect election security. Representatives of political parties or candidates, and sometimes even members of the general public, are also allowed to observe and monitor activities throughout the election processes. Election officials also have contingency plans for emergencies like natural disasters and power loss.
Voting equipment is given logic and accuracy tests against a known set of marked ballots to ensure tabulators are counting ballots correctly. Post-election audits also ensure votes are counted correctly and procedures associated with transporting and securing ballots were followed throughout the election process. On election night, there are multiple sources of election results. Election data are reported by local jurisdictions, typically precinct by precinct, and these data are then uploaded to the county and state’s election reporting systems. This distributed system provides an archive of the results in addition to the hard copy, paper ballots in secure storage. If there is a problem with the reporting system, these archived copies can be used as backup.
After Election Day, each election jurisdiction engages in a canvassing process, where the entire election is reviewed. This canvass ensures that the number of voters recorded as having voted coincides with the number of ballots cast.
No. Michigan’s Presidential Primary has been designated a closed primary. There is no political party registration requirement in Michigan Election Law. Any Michigan registered voter can participate in the primary. By law, you must make your ballot selection in writing by completing the Application to Vote/Ballot Selection Form on Election Day; or on the Absent Voter Ballot Application form if voting absentee.
Michigan Election Law (MCL 168.615c) guides the conduct of the Presidential Primary. The law requires that voters indicate in writing which political party ballot he or she wishes to vote. This requirement only applies to Presidential Primary elections, and voters will not be required to select a political party ballot type at other types of elections.
Voters in an open primary (like August) are given a ballot with a column listing each qualified party’s candidates. Voters then decide which party primary they wish to participate in by voting only in the column of their party choice while in the privacy of the voting station. Voting for candidates in more than a single party’s column will void the entire partisan ballot.
Voters in closed primaries must state the party primary they wish to participate in before being issued a ballot. The ballot given to voters only has candidates of the party that corresponds to the voter’s choice.
No. The written selection made by a voter at the Presidential Primary has no bearing on how a person votes in the State Primary election.
Each party ballot has a vote position for “uncommitted.” When a voter selects “uncommitted”, this indicates the voter is exercising a vote for that political party, but is not committed to any of the candidates listed on the ballot. If enough voters cast “uncommitted” votes, the party may send delegates to the national nominating convention who are not committed to a specific candidate.
If you voted via an Absentee Ballot and you have returned your completed ballot to the City Clerk's Office, then you may request and vote a replacement ballot, if you do so before 5:00 p.m. the Friday before Election Day. In this situation, the city clerk will spoil your original ballot and issue you a new ballot. Contact (or visit) the City Clerk's Office immediately if you are interested in doing so.
If you voted via an Absentee Ballot and you returned your completed ballot to an Early Voting site and submitted your Absentee Ballot into the tabulator, then you may NOT request a replacement ballot. Your vote has already been tabulated and cannot be retrieved.