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Frequently Asked Questions about voting in Michigan

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Posted at 6:24 AM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 06:24:23-05

Tuesday, Nov. 3 marks the general election across the United States. In-person voting will be underway in Michigan at 7 a.m.

Here's a list of Frequently Asked Questions on voting from the Michigan.gov website.

Do I have to show my voter registration card in order to vote?

No. As long as you are in the correct polling location, your name will appear on the registration list supplied to your precinct.

The Voter Identification Card is for your reference and is not required to vote. If you did not receive or lost the Voter Identification Card, call your local Clerk for a replacement or visit the Michigan Voter Information Center to check your registration status.

Do I need to show identification in order to vote?

Michigan does have a voter identification requirement at the polls. Voters are asked to present an acceptable photo ID such as a Michigan driver's license or identification card. Please note that voters who do not have an acceptable form of ID or failed to bring it with them to the polls still can vote. They simply sign a brief affidavit stating that they're not in possession of a photo ID. Their ballots are included with all others and counted on Election Day.

The following types of photo ID are acceptable:

  • Michigan driver's license or state-issued ID card
  • Driver's license or personal identification card issued by another state
  • Federal or state government-issued photo identification
  • U.S. passport
  • Military ID with photo
  • Student identification with photo from a high school or accredited institution of higher learning
  • Tribal identification card with photo

The ID does not need your address.

Can Michigan residents in jail or prison still vote?

Michigan residents confined in jail or prison who are awaiting arraignment or trial are eligible to vote. However, residents who are serving a sentence in jail or prison after conviction cannot vote during the period of confinement. When residents are released from jail or prison after serving a sentence, they are free to participate in elections without restriction.

Can I wear election-related clothing to the polls?

Michigan has prohibited the practice of displaying election-related materials at the polls for decades. This includes clothing and buttons as well as materials such as pamphlets, fliers and stickers. You cannot display such items in the polling place or within 100 feet of an entrance to a polling place. If you go to the polls with a shirt or button bearing election-related images or slogans, you will be asked to cover or remove it.

Must I vote the entire ballot?

You are not required to vote the entire ballot. You may pick and choose the races or ballot questions for which you want to vote. Skipping sections of the ballot does not invalidate your ballot.

Can I vote a "split" ticket?

You can "split" your ticket when voting in the November general election. A voter participating in a November general election who wishes to cast a "split" ticket can vote for individual candidates of his or her choice under any party.

Can voters be challenged based on home foreclosures?

The compilation of home foreclosure information alone does not provide sufficient reason to challenge a person's voting status. In fact, the Michigan Republican and Democratic parties are in agreement that so-called foreclosure lists do not provide a reasonable basis to challenge voters.

Can I use a camera in the polls?

Yes in a limited basis. For information about this please visit this website about ballot selfies.

Are absentee ballots always counted?

Yes. Absent voter ballots simply allow voters who are eligible to cast ballots prior to Election Day. They are counted on Election Day along with all ballots voted at the polls.