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Primary voting underway; a record 1.5M absentee ballots requested in Michigan

A VOTE sign at a polling place on green grass near a parking lot
Over 1.5 Michigan voters have requested an absentee ballot and 178,931 have already been returned ahead of the primary election. (Shutterstock)
  • Over 1.5 Michigan voters have requested absentee ballots for the Aug. 4 primary
  • The state has already received 178,931, more than those returned leading up to the 2020 primary election 
  • Michigan voters can vote via absentee ballot until 8 p.m. on Election Day

Less than a month before the Aug. 6 primary, a record 1.5 million Michigan voters have requested absentee ballots, topping the mark set at the height of the pandemic in 2020, state officials announced Wednesday.

Already, 178,931 absentee ballots have been returned, more than the 111,014 ballots returned 28 days leading up to the 2020 primary. 

In 2020, at this time, 1.3 million Michiganders had requested absentee ballots. 


“This is great news for Michigan, and for democracy,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in a statement. “In 2020, we saw our highest turnout elections in Michigan history. It is thrilling to see we are on track to exceed those high turnout levels in 2024 and even more exciting to see voters engaged early at such significant numbers and committed to ensuring their voice is heard.”


Michigan residents can register to vote online or by mail until July 22. Michigan now allows same-day voter registration until 8 p.m. on Election Day. 

Some basics about voting

To be eligible to vote in Michigan, you must: 

  • Be a citizen of the U.S. 
  • Have lived in the city or township they are registering in for at least 30 days before the election 
  • Not be serving a jail or prison sentence 
  • At least 18 years old 

Residents registering to vote will need a valid Michigan driver license or state ID, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check, or any other government document to verify their eligibility. 

After eligibility is verified, you’ll submit an application to be processed by the city clerk. 


More voting rules

This election is the first major test of expanded voting access, including a new law mandating at least nine days of early voting, ending the Sunday before the election.

This year, early voting begins July 27.

Voting on Election Day, Aug. 6, is 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters who do not turn in their absentee ballot by mail before Election Day, can take it to their local clerk’s office or put it in a drop box to ensure it is counted.

“No matter where you live or who you vote for, Michigan’s nonpartisan, professional election clerks and poll workers are ready to administer safe, secure elections so that every citizen’s voice is heard,” Benson said.

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