Promote the Vote law gives Michigan voters new rights

With the August 6 election approaching, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson wants to remind voters of their rights under the new Promote the Vote constitutional amendment.

Some of the changes include allowing registered voters to vote by mail and to register to vote up to and including Election Day.

Voters can also vote absentee without a reason.

"The people of Michigan amended the state constitution last fall to give all voters the convenient option of voting early by absentee ballot without a reason. The amendment also allows people to still register to vote even on Election Day and makes other improvements that strengthen our democracy," Benson said. "If your community is holding an election, I encourage you to cast your ballot when it works best for you."

Over half of Michigan's counties will be holding an election on August 6.

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Additional info provided by Secretary Benson:

  • To register to vote, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and U.S. citizens. Applicants also must be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register for at least 30 days before Election Day.
  • Polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Citizens may register to vote up until 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you aren't registered, or need to update your address, you may do so by appearing in person at your city or township clerk's office and providing proof of residency.
  • All eligible and registered voters in Michigan may request an absentee ballot without providing a reason and vote early. Drop off your ballot application in person at your township or city clerk's office no later than 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, and you will be given an absentee ballot that you can vote in the office.
  • You also can mail the ballot application. Requests to have a ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2. If you get your absentee ballot by mail, you can return it by mail or in person, but it must be received by your city or township clerk by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, to count.
  • For those communities holding an election Tuesday, Aug. 6, city and township clerk's offices will be open the weekend before Election Day to assist voters with registering to vote and voting absentee early.
  • To check your registration status, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at You can view a sample ballot and find your polling place. You also can find information about how to use voting equipment and how to contact your local clerk.
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