October 28, 2020
It’s almost that time! No matter who you vote for or what party you align with, your vote matters more now than it ever has before. November 3rd is right around the corner, meaning it is extremely important for you to understand how to vote in this year’s general election.
Are you registered?
The first thing to check is whether or not you are registered to vote. If you’ve voted before, especially in August, you should be registered to vote in the November election. If you’ve received an absentee ballot, you are registered to vote. However, if you have changed your address recently or didn’t vote in the August election, you should check your registration status at michigan.gov/vote. If you are not registered, you’ll have to go to your clerk’s office with your state ID or other proof of residency, as the deadline for online registration passed on October 19th.
Where can I vote?
When you check for your registration status you will also learn some more important information, such as your polling location. Now if things were easy, your polling location would be the same as the last time you voted. However, polling locations can seemingly change according to your clerk’s discretion, as well as some safety precautions due to COVID-19. My polling location changed from a church three miles from my house to a school across the street, so make sure to verify your polling location before heading out.
I don’t want to vote in person, what can I do?
With the worldwide pandemic, I don’t blame you for not wanting to vote in person. Thankfully, Michigan will give you an absentee ballot for any reason. You can apply online for an absentee ballot, but I cannot guarantee that you will receive it before election day. For this reason, head to your clerk’s office, and you can apply and receive your ballot within a couple of minutes. You can even fill it out right there and submit it safely.
If you currently have an absentee ballot, I recommend voting as soon as possible if you are going to mail it, as you want to make sure it is received by October 30th to guarantee your voice is heard. You can also drop off your ballot to secure lockboxes at your clerk’s office.
How else can I be involved?
Good on you for being dedicated to our democracy, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities. First, the state and your local clerk are always looking for volunteers to help elections go smoothly, including volunteers for counting ballots, assisting clerks, and sitting at polling locations. If you fill out the form at Michigan.gov/DemocracyMVP, your information will be passed on to local election efforts who will then contact you on how to help. If you wanted other volunteering opportunities, you can find a local or statewide non-profit that is hosting Get Out To Vote initiatives, such as Clean Water Action, the League of Women Voters, and the NAACP. If you are politically motivated, you can visit your local, statewide, or even national candidate’s website, which will surely have a tab for volunteering up to and on election day. Check out this page for volunteer opportunities and ways you can get involved!
Written by Let’s Detroit Adam Majestic