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Don't forget to register to vote by July 10

July 7, 2017

LANSING — Michigan residents have until Monday, July 10 to register to vote in the Aug. 8 election, which will be the first to feature the state’s new election equipment.

Voters in 63 communities across the state may notice new ballot counting machines at the polls, but they still will be marking a paper ballot as they did before. This August, 63 communities in 11 counties will use the new optical-scan voting systems with more expected to use the new equipment in November. By August 2018, all cities and townships statewide will have the new equipment.

The new systems all use upgraded digital optical-scan technology, which includes notable improvements and increased ease of use for voters and election administrators. Improvements in the election management system software will save county and local clerks time and money in preparing for elections and providing election results. The options available for voters with disabilities also are improved greatly.

To register to vote, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and U.S. citizens. Applicants also must be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register. Polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters may register by mail or in person at their county, city or township clerk’s office or by visiting any Secretary of State office. The mail-in form is available at First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60 years old or older, are disabled or are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

To check their registration status, residents may visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at They can see their sample ballot and find their polling place. Residents also can find information on absentee voting, Michigan’s voter identification requirement and how to contact their local clerk.

Voters who qualify may choose to cast an absentee ballot. As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee ballot if you are age 60 or older; physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another; expecting to be absent from the community in which you are registered for the entire time the polls will be open on Election Day; in jail awaiting arraignment or trial; unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons or will be working as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

Voters who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, Aug. 7, must fill out the ballot in the clerk’s office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.

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