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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

What to know on Election Day in Michigan: Where to vote, what’s on the ballot

Michigan’s primary election is on Aug. 2. Here’s what you need to know. (Shutterstock)
  • You can register to vote on Election Day
  • Bring a photo ID to the polling place
  • Some results may not be known until Wednesday

Election Day is Tuesday in Michigan. If you’re not prepared to vote, don’t worry. We have everything you need to know before hitting the polling booth.

There are five Republican gubernatorial candidates competing in the Aug. 2 primary for a chance to take on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the Nov. 8 general election. There are also primaries for Michigan’s 13 congressional districts, as well as all state House and Senate seats and local ballot measures in more than a dozen counties.

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Here is a comprehensive guide to all the candidates and issues you can vote on today.

Still have questions about the voting process? Here are answers:

It’s Election Day, but I’m not registered to vote. Can I still register?

Yes, you can still register to vote up until and on Election Day at your city or township’s clerk’s office by 8 p.m.

To be eligible for registration, you need to be living in Michigan and prove your residency. Acceptable proof is a state ID or driver license, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or another government document, like a passport. You can also sign an affidavit stating you don’t have your ID with you and still vote. 

People under the age of 18 cannot vote in elections and neither can anyone serving a jail or prison sentence.

When and where can I vote?

In-person voting for the primary election is 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and polling places will depend on where you live. Find your polling place here.

OK, what should I expect when I get there?

Voting systems vary depending on the county, but generally you will be asked to present a form of ID and sign in.

There are several types of IDs you can use to sign in:

  • Driver license
  • State ID
  • U.S. passport
  • Military ID with photo
  • Student ID with photo from a high school or accredited college or university
  • Tribal identification card with photo

Then expect to wait for a secure polling station to open up. An election worker will give you a ballot to mark. Make sure to fill in the circle.

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Michigan is one of a handful of states that prints Republican and Democratic candidates on the same ballot. So, it is important to pay close attention and only vote for candidates of one party. If you select candidates across party lines, your ballot cannot be accepted.  

Once the ballot is correctly filled out, you can cast it.

What if I need an accessible machine because I have a disability?

Every voter has access to a voter assist terminal in all polling places. This terminal helps the voter mark a ballot.

The terminal will mark the person’s votes but not tally the votes. Once the voter is finished, the ballot is counted in the same way all the other ballots are counted.

A person with a disability can vote independently or ask for assistance from an election official.

If voters are blind, or unable to read or write, they have the right to assistance from anyone who is not their employer, an agent of your employer or an agent or officer of their labor union.

People can also request curbside voting. If voters have a disability, they can send an ally in to request the service and an election official will bring the ballot to them.

To ensure accessibility for people with disabilities, there should always be unlocked doorways and alternatives to stairs such as ramps or elevators at polling stations.

What if there is an emergency and I can’t make it to the polls on Aug. 2?

Your vote can still be counted by using an emergency absent voter ballot. The emergency had to happen at a time that made it impossible for you to have gotten a regular absentee ballot. You must submit a request for an emergency vote before 4 p.m. on Election Day. 

Will there be a winner on election night?

Although many winners will be known on Tuesday night, the increase in mail-in votes could delay results.

Nearly 1.2 million Michigan voters submitted absentee ballot applications for the primary election, up from 588,909 in 2018. This is the first statewide midterm election in which no-reason absentee voting is an option in the state — and state officials expect some 2 million votes total in the primary

It is a trend that appears to be playing out statewide, particularly in Democratic-leaning areas.

Is my vote safe?

While voter fraud has been a hot-button topic since the 2020 presidential election, your vote is safe. There has never been proof of widespread voter fraud during that election. 

According to the Michigan Auditor General  Office, more than 99.9 percent of all the ballots in Michigan’s 2020 presidential election were legally cast and properly counted

In Detroit, election officials are beefing up security measures at the polling place. Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey told Bridge Detroit the tightened measures are in response to the chaos that ensued during the 2020 presidential election when Republicans raised concerns about voter fraud that eventually escalated into a crowd trying to stop the city from counting absentee ballots. 

Poll challengers, reporters and election workers will be required to show ID, sign affidavits of identity and pass through metal detectors before entering the basement in Huntington Place and 20 police officers will be assigned to keep watch over the count.

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