2020 General Election in Michigan: Key dates, deadlines to know

What to know for November election

Absentee voting leads to record turnout for Michigan’s May election

With a huge amount of voters using mail-in voting options, the 2020 general election cycle is closer than you think.

Michigan will be a key state in the Nov. 3 election, which features the choice for U.S. president. President Donald Trump won the state by a slim margin in 2016. Michigan reported record voter turnout in the 2020 primary election due to the increase in mail-in voting.

Clerks will start mailing out ballots on Sept. 24 -- 40 days before the election, as required by law.

Here are some key dates and deadlines to know:

Registering to vote

You can register at any time up to 8 p.m. on Election Day at your city or township clerk’s office. If you’re registering another way, in order to vote in the November 3, 2020 election, your completed voter registration application must be received or postmarked by October 19, 2020.

If you move to a new city or township, you must re-register. If you move within a city or township and are already registered to vote, you only need to update your address with the city/township clerk.

If you have a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID you can use the online form to register to vote or update your voter registration address in Michigan.

Voter registration is a 5-step process in Michigan. Click the links below to learn more about each step.

Note: Military and overseas civilian voters have additional options to register. Learn about military and overseas civilian voters.

1: Verify you are eligible

2: Fill out an application

3: Submit your application

4: City/township clerk processes application

5: You are registered!

Voting by mail, absentee

There is no difference between the term mail-in voting or absentee voting, for all intents and purposes. Clerks must begin mailing requested ballots to voters 40 days before the election, on September 24.

Related: President Trump’s rhetoric on voter fraud is misleading

All registered voters can request an absentee ballot online through our absentee voter request form before October 20. An application for an absentee ballot was mailed to every registered voter in Michigan. If you did not receive one or cannot find it, you can:

  • Call your city or township clerk and ask that an application be mailed to you
  • Download an application to return by mail or in person to your local clerk or township

Requests for an absent voter ballot must be received by your township or city clerk no later than 5 p.m. the Friday before the election. If you’re already registered at your current address, you can request an absent voter ballot in person at your clerk’s office anytime up to 4 p.m. on the day prior to the election.

If you’re registering to vote or updating your address by appearing at your clerk’s office on Election Day, you can request an absent voter ballot at the same time you register. If you request your AV ballot the day before the election or on Election Day, you must vote the ballot in the clerk’s office.

When do I need to deliver my ballot?

Your completed absentee ballot must be received by your city or township clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Nov. 3). Begin the process early by mailing in your application for an absentee ballot as soon as possible. Your application for the November General Election can be submitted now.

You can also find your local ballot drop box and drop it off yourself. You must use the drop box in your jurisdiction. All registered voters can track their ballot by looking up their information in the voter information section of this website.

Find your voting information

If you’re looking for your local drop box, your local precinct or general voter info, click here and look yourself up. You can also view your sample ballot and track your ballot.

More: Why 10,000 absentee ballots were rejected in Michigan primary

About the Author:

Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.