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Yes. Election observers are an important part of the electoral process to ensure transparency and properly run elections. Volunteer election challengers and poll watchers may observe the voting process at early voting sites as permitted by Michigan election law. All election observers must strictly adhere to proper standards and procedures.
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In November 2022, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment that gives voters the right to vote early and in person at early voting sites before statewide and federal elections. Communities may also choose to provide early voting for local elections. Early voting allows a voter to cast a ballot before Election Day, in an experience similar to voting on Election Day. During the early voting period, voters are issued a ballot and can then insert their ballot directly into a tabulator at their early voting site.
Both early in-person voting and absentee voting allow voters to cast a ballot prior to Election Day. However, there are key differences between the two methods of voting. Early voting allows voters to cast a ballot similar to how they would do so at a polling place on Election Day. Voters are issued a ballot and can personally insert it into the tabulator at their early voting site. Absentee voting allows voters to request a ballot by mail or in person at their local clerk’s office. Voters can complete their absentee ballot at home or at their local clerk’s office and submit it in an envelope by mail, in person, or by drop box. After an absentee ballot is received by the local clerk, the voter’s absentee ballot is processed and tabulated by their local clerk.
Any registered voter in Michigan has the right to vote early in person at an early voting site for statewide and federal elections in which they are eligible. Voters in Michigan can register to vote up to and on Election Day, including during the early voting period.
Learn more about voter registration.
No. If a voter visits the early voting site and is not registered, they will be directed to their local clerk.
No. Voters should remember to bring an acceptable form of photo identification to an early voting site or to the polls on Election Day. However, a photo ID is not required to cast a ballot. Voters without a photo ID, or voters who forgot to bring their photo ID, can still vote after signing an Affidavit of Voter Not in Possession of Picture Identification.
All voters, including voters with disabilities, have the right to vote in person at an early voting site, at a polling place, or by using a standard or accessible absentee ballot. Early voting sites feature at least one Voter Assist Terminal (VAT), a ballot-marking device that can be used by any voter. VATs also provide assistive tools for voters with visual, hearing, mobility, or other disabilities. Accessible curbside voting is also available at early voting sites. Voters may contact us to request curbside voting. Voters may need to send someone into the early voting site to request curbside voting on their behalf. An election official will then bring the ballot outside for the voter to complete.
Voters can visit an early voting site in their area to cast a ballot in person during the early voting period. In Lenawee County, we have a centralized early voting site located at the Lenawee County Human Services Building located at 1040 S. Winter St., Adrian, MI 49221.
The early voting period takes place for a minimum of nine consecutive days, ending on the Sunday before an election. Early voting sites must be open for at least eight hours each day during the early voting period.
Saturday, February 17, 2024 – Sunday, February 25, 2024Daily 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
Yes. During each day of the early voting period, eligible voters waiting in line when an early voting site closes have the right to stay in line and cast a ballot.
Yes. Voters can request an absentee ballot and submit it before Election Day by mail, in person at their local clerk’s office, or by drop box.
Yes, every voter has the right to a secret ballot. At early voting sites, voters insert their completed ballot into a tabulator, just like at a polling place on Election Day. To protect voter privacy, once a ballot has been inserted into a tabulator, it cannot be traced back to an individual voter. Ballots inserted in the tabulator are sealed in secure containers each night during the early voting period. After polls close on Election Day, all ballots submitted at an early voting site are totaled and reported, along with the vote totals from absentee and Election Day ballots.
Once a ballot has been inserted into a tabulator, it cannot be changed.
After polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, all ballots submitted at an early voting site are totaled and reported, along with the vote totals from absentee and Election Day ballots.
Just like voting on Election Day, there are multiple security reviews and checks and balances in the early voting process.
No. The Qualified Voter File, a secure voter records database, receives regular updates of a voter’s ballot activity. If a voter submits two separate ballots, the system indicates a vote has already been submitted, and the second ballot is not issued.
All paper ballots submitted in Michigan, whether at a polling place, an early voting site, or through absentee voting, are retained in secure, sealed ballot containers after the election. Each seal has a unique number that is recorded in the poll book by a team of bipartisan election workers. Michigan election law requires the secure handling of paper ballots. Once early voting is complete and a ballot container is sealed, the seal cannot be broken until the canvass, recount, or audit process begins. An unbroken seal ensures that ballots are in the same condition they were on Election Day.