Early voting available soon for some Michiganders
Thursday, October 5, 2023
CLARIFICATION: Information has been added to clarify that there are multiple pilot programs, and that early voting will not be widely available in Michigan until 2024. (11:51 a.m. MDT, Oct. 5, 2023)
Michiganders have even more election access through pilot programs that allow early voting in some local communities.
More than 8.2 million Michigan residents are registered to vote, and one way to avoid the crowds at the ballot box is to show up early.
The early-voting pilot program is being rolled out in a few cities or counties for this November.
Melanie Macey, Michigan policy counsel for the group Promote the Vote, says early voting is a process that looks a lot like Election Day.
"You go into an early voting site," said Macey. "There's a table where you check in and they provide you a ballot. You fill out your ballot and you put it in a tabulator, just like at Election Day. So, we haven't had that in the past, and that's what's been added to the new ways that you can vote."
Not all communities have local elections this year. However, early voting will be available across the state in time for the federal primaries next year.
Another way to avoid the crowds, of course, is to vote by absentee ballot. People don't have to cite a reason to vote absentee, if that's what they prefer.
Macey said early voting will be available for all voters in 2024 - but it will not be at all the usual voting sites.
"I live in Royal Oak, and we're going to have a combined early-voting site for all of Royal Oak and Madison Heights," said Macey. "So, all of Royal Oak and Madison Heights voters will have one location."
She added that these early voting sites and can be found through your local city or county clerk's office. These sites will be able to accommodate more voters than an Election Day polling location can serve.
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