How To Vote With An Absentee Ballot

Voting with an absentee ballot has its advantages for both voters and poll workers. The main benefit is that it allows someone to vote when they otherwise might not be able. Check out the instructions below to see how its done and who qualifies.


  • October 9: Last day to register to vote. 
  • November 3 at 2 p.m.: Last day to request an absentee ballot by mail. 
  • November 5 at 4 p.m.: In person deadline to pick up an absentee ballot – must vote in city or township clerk’s office.


You may vote absentee if you are:

  • 60 or older.
  • Expect to be out of town on Election Day.
  • Physically unable to attend the polls without assistance.
  • Unable to go to the polls due to religious beliefs.
  • A poll worker assigned to a polling place that is not your own.
  • In jail awaiting arraignment or trial.


By mail – deadline is 2pm the Saturday before an election

  • Download an application at gov/vote.
  • Ask your township or city clerk’s office to mail an application.
  • Write a letter to your township or city clerk requesting a ballot – include one of the reasons above and sign your request.

Signed applications may be emailed or faxed to your township or city clerk as well.

Remember, your clerk cannot mail a ballot after 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election.

In Person – deadline is 4 p.m. the day before an election

Pick up an absentee ballot in person at your township or city clerk’s office.

Absentee ballots picked up on the Monday before Election Day, must be voted in the clerk’s office. You cannot take it home.


When you return your ballot:

  • Return it by 8 p.m. to your township or city clerk’s office.
  • Sign the return envelope.
  • If someone assisted you, have the assistant sign in the appropriate box.
  • Allow at least 5 business days when mailing.

Only you, someone in your family (or living in your household), the mail carrier or an election official can deliver your absentee ballot to the clerk’s office.


If you have a sudden personal illness or injury, or a death in the family, you may request an emergency absentee ballot. Emergency absentee ballots are available at your township or city clerk’s office after 2 p.m. on the Saturday before Election Day and up until 4 p.m. on Election Day. Contact your township or city clerk for more information.

You can track the status of your absentee ballot at

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