By: SMSBF Communications Team
Voting is important. Whether you vote with your dollars by purchasing your everyday staples from a local, sustainable business, or whether you cast your ballot for a candidate that has demonstrated their commitment to justice, voting is one of the easiest, and historically important, ways to make your voice heard. In 2020, for the first time all eligible and registered Michigan voters can apply for an absentee ballot without providing a reason. So, whether you’ll be out of town, can’t get to your polling place because of work, or simply don’t want to stand in line, you can ask your local clerk to send a ballot to your home so you can fill it out from the comfort of your couch. Here are some tips to make sure your vote is counted:
- Mailed requests for an absentee ballot have to be mailed and must be received by the clerk no later than 5 pm the Friday before the election;
- Michigan’s primary election is March 10, 2020 which means the request must be received by 5 pm on March 6, 2020.
- The U.S. presidential election is November 3, 2020 which means the request must be received by 5 pm on October 30, 2020.
- If you forget to mail the application and are already a registered voter you can request an absentee ballot in person from your clerk any time up to the Monday before the election at 4 pm.
- Ask your clerk’s office if it maintains a permanent absent voter list so if you intend to vote absentee in each election, you don’t have to remember to send in the application before each election; if they don’t maintain one, encourage them to start.
- Make sure you select the correct ballot type; in the upcoming primary, you can ask for the Democrat, Republican, or a “Ballot without Presidential Primary” which will allow you to vote for local candidates and ballot initiatives without participating in the primary.
- Once you receive and complete your absentee ballot (the primary ballot will arrive in a blue and white envelope), make sure to return it in the envelope provided (which is green and white) and don’t forget to sign the envelope; if the signature on the envelope does not match the signature on file, your vote might not be counted.
- If you are helping a disabled or elderly relative who cannot mark their own ballot, make sure you fill out and sign the Assistant Certificate portion.
So, no more excuse. Get out (or stay in) and make your voice heard!