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Voting absentee in 2020 election? How to find your Michigan drop box

FILE - In this July 7, 2020, file photo a woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J. With the Trump administration openly trying to undermine mail-in voting this fall, some election officials around the country are hoping to bypass the Postal Service by installing lots of ballot drop boxes in libraries, community centers and other public places. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
FILE - In this July 7, 2020, file photo a woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J. With the Trump administration openly trying to undermine mail-in voting this fall, some election officials around the country are hoping to bypass the Postal Service by installing lots of ballot drop boxes in libraries, community centers and other public places. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

If you’re voting absentee, like more than two million voters are planning to do in Michigan this November, you have many options to submit your ballot.

Related:

Find your local drop box

You can return your completed absent voter ballot by delivering it to your local clerk’s office before the 8 p.m. deadline on November 3. Some offices are even offering ballot “drop boxes” to make returning your ballot easier.

Officials are encouraging voters to hand deliver their completed ballot, as voters can guarantee that their ballot will be received on time and their vote will be counted in the election.

No postage is required to return your Michigan absent voter ballot in person. Remember: The back of the envelope containing the completed absent voter ballot must be signed by the voter or it will not be counted.

Mail your ballot

You can return your completed absent voter ballot by mailing it to your local clerk’s office.

To ensure your ballot is received by the 8 p.m. deadline on November 3, we recommend mailing out your completed ballot at least two weeks before the deadline -- which would be October 20.

Recent delays and funding shortages with the U.S. Postal Service have raised concerns over whether or not mail-in ballots will be returned to clerks' offices on time for the November election. For this reason, we are recommending mailing in your completed absent voter ballot as soon as possible ahead of Election Day.

Postage will be required to return your Michigan absent voter ballot by mail.

How to make sure your ballot isn’t rejected

  • Carefully follow the instructions provided when filling out the ballot at home. Making a mistake will either cause the ballot to be rejected, or force you to obtain a new ballot and start again.
  • Make sure the completed ballot is located inside of the envelope before returning it. (This seems obvious, but just trust us! Double check.)
  • Be sure to sign the back of the envelope that contains your absent voter ballot. This signature is expected to match your state-documented signature.
  • Ensure your completed absent voter ballot arrives to your local clerk before the 8 p.m. deadline on November 3. If you aren’t confident that your ballot will reach your local clerk in time through mail, you can hand deliver it before the election.

November election: What do you need to know before voting?


About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.