By Allie Ouendag
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise exceptionally across the country, access to polling locations this November is expected to be complicated. As a result, many voters are turning to mail-in voting ballots to avoid exposure to large crowds and continue following social distancing measures.
Most recently, Michigan voters were able to absentee vote for primary state elections on Tuesday, Aug. 4. In 2018, Michigan voters passed a no-reason absentee ballot that greatly expanded the use of mail-in -voting measures. Voters are expected to follow similar procedures leading up to the presidential election this coming fall, despite some trepidation from both President Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers.
Polling stations were equipped with sanitary measures including hand sanitizer, sneeze guards, and were frequently sanitized between voters. There was, however, a backup in the Detroit area where many election workers did not show up for their shifts.
According to a poll in the Washington Post, 77% of eligible Americans will be able to vote through the mail. This does not come without worries as only about half of the total absentee ballots were mailed on the Tuesday afternoon deadline. Tuesday’s primary was seen as a rough run through in preparation for the presidential election this fall.
To be eligible for absentee voting you first must be registered to vote in Michigan. You can check to see if you are already registered here.
There are a number of ways to apply for absentee voting both online and in-person. Using the same link above you can request an absentee ballot through the Michigan Voter Information Center or send an application, letter, or postcard to your local clerk.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot through the mail is the Friday before the election at 5 p.m, however if you are registered under the same address you can request a ballot in-person at the clerk’s office until 4 p.m the day prior. After receiving your ballot in the mail and filling it out, you can drop it at your local clerk’s office until 8 p.m the day of the election to cast your vote.