FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michigan’s early voting period from Sept. 24 to Nov. 2
DETROIT – Members of the 100-plus-member, statewide, MichiganVoting.org coalition, along with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, assembled today to kick-off the ‘40 Day of Early Voting’ campaign to reinforce voting early particularly for historically disenfranchised communities across Michigan.
The coalition was represented by speakers from organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU), NAACP Detroit, Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and LGBT Detroit. In addition to the right to vote by mail and to vote at their polling location, Michigan voters have a constitutional right to vote early beginning on Sept. 24 through Nov 2 at their local clerk’s office or satellite office.
“I encourage all voters to act as soon as possible to request and return their ballot, or to vote early at their clerk’s office,” said Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State. “This will ensure they avoid postal delays, and can safely and securely cast their ballot.”
By coordinating with local advocates and volunteer-powered organizations already active on the ground in communities across the state, the ’40 Days of Early Voting’ campaign’s mission is to increase voter turnout by educating all eligible voters about mail-in and in-person early voting options. Their strategy includes a variety of virtual, public and person-to-person voter engagement efforts throughout both upper and lower peninsulas, and with an additional focus on reaching women, younger and first-time voters, and communities of color in municipalities both small and large.
“It has never been easier to cast your vote in Michigan, but we must make sure all eligible voters know that they have the right to vote early, in person at their local clerk's office starting today, and that they can register to vote until polls close on Election Day,” said Dave Noble, ACLU of Michigan executive director.
“Together, alongside so many partners statewide, we are working in diverse communities to continue to remove barriers to voting to ensure people make their voices heard and vote. We hope to educate anyone who historically has been left out of the system so they make their votes count. The more people who participate in our elections, the stronger our democracy is."
In addition, those who need to register to vote can do so through on-site and same-day registration, including on Election Day. However, early registration is highly encouraged by the coalition, and can be done by mail or online through Oct. 19 at michiganvoting.org/register-to-vote.
Starting Oct. 20, registration must be done in person at your local clerk’s office with proof of residency, at which time voters can request an absentee ballot and cast their vote during the same visit.
The press conference, today, took place outside of the ACLU Michigan office in front of a large voting mural as part of the coalition’s public art campaign. The mural by Detroit-based artist Ndubisi Okoye is one of eight murals that will be painted in six cities across Michigan. All eight murals will be completed by early October and are being created in collaboration with Detroit-based gallery and arts publisher 1xRUN and local artists to drive voter registration and turnout for the Nov. 3 general election.
The coalition is also recruiting poll workers, and training volunteers for voter outreach and voting rights education, and operating an election protection hotline for voters with questions or concerns. The Election Protection hotline (866-OUR-VOTE/ 866-687-8683) is staffed by trained legal professionals from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and will add weekend hours as the election grows near.
Applications to work the polls on Nov. 3, as well as more information on how to register and vote can be found at: www.MichiganVoting.org
· Now: Voters can print and submit a paper application for an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 General Election.
· Now : The Secretary of State’s online application for an absentee ballot is available at https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/avapplication.
· Sept. 24 through Nov 2 at 4 p.m.: Already registered voters can vote early at their city and township clerk’s office(s) for the Nov. 3 General Election.
· Oct. 19: Last day to register to vote online or through the mail for the Nov. 3 General Election. Get registered to vote asap and do it online at www.michiganvoting.org, if you can.
· Starting on Oct. 20 through 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, you must register to vote in person at your city or township clerk’s office and provide proof of residency. Once you are registered, you can vote, all in one trip.
· Oct. 20: If you plan to submit your completed absentee ballot by mailing it to your clerk, put it in the mail by Oct. 20 to be sure it arrives on time. After Oct 20, submit your completed absentee voter ballot by dropping it off at your city or township clerk’s office or the ballot drop-box provided by your clerk.
· Weekend of Oct. 31 – Nov. 1: Clerks’ offices must be open for at least eight hours for in-person absentee voting. Check with your local office to find out when they will be open.
· Nov. 3 - Election Day: Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time.
For more information on mail-in ballots, same-day registration or ways to safely cast your vote before election day, visit www.MichiganVoting.org