Frequently Asked Questions
Registering To Vote
What makes a person eligible to vote?
You are qualified to vote if:
- You are a citizen of the U.S.
- You are at least 18 years of age on or before the next regularly scheduled election.
- You have been a resident of the State of Michigan for at least 30 days prior to the election.
- You have registered on or before the close of registration preceding the election.
How is residence determined?
- By Law, residence is where you habitually sleep, keep your personal belongings, and have your regular place of lodging.
- You may not register at your business address.
- Military service members, U.S. Government employees and their families living outside of the U.S. may register to vote at their last legal residence within the U.S.
What is the "Close of Registration"?
The last day to register before an election occurs at 5 p.m. on the 30th day preceding the election.
Do I need to declare a party preference when I register?
Does everyone have to register to be eligible to vote?
How can I register to vote?
You can register at any of the following offices:
- Secretary of State Branch Office
- County Clerk's Office
- City, Township, or Village Office
- With an Assistant Clerk for Voter Registration With a mail-in voter registration application***
As soon as your local City or Township Clerk accepts the registration, you are officially registered to vote. Your voter identification card should arrive in the mail within three weeks.
Kent County Clerk, Election's Department
300 Monroe Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
Note: You must mail the hard copy with your original signature to the Clerk. Also, when filing a mail-in registration, you must vote in person the first time. You may not receive an Absent Voter Ballot until you have done so.
Will I ever need to re-register?
- Registration in the State of Michigan is considered permanent. However, if you move you must re-register at your new address.
- Persons changing their names as the result of marriage or a legal action should report this to their local clerk by re-registering.
How do I know where I am supposed to vote?
- The polling place is where you go to cast your ballot.
- Polling Locations are also referred to as "precincts".
- The precinct you are assigned to depends on where you are registered to vote.
- When you arrive at your polling place, a precinct inspector will ask you to fill out an Application to Vote to verify your name and address which appears on the list of registered voters assigned to that precinct. If you are in the incorrect precinct, you must go to the correct precinct in order to vote.
- The ballot type you vote on depends on the system used by your local clerk. The precinct inspectors will provide instruction on how to mark your ballot.
What happens if I am unable to attend the polls?
You may apply for an Absent Voter Ballot if any of the following conditions exist: Conditions
Where can I get a ballot?
The only place you can obtain an Absentee Ballot is from the City, Township or Village where you are registered.
You may apply for an Absent Voter Ballot in one of the following ways: How to apply
When is the deadline to get an absentee Ballot?
The deadline to apply to receive an absent voter ballot by mail is 2:00 PM on the Saturday prior to the election. After this, you may vote an absent voter ballot in person at your local clerk's office up until 4:00 PM on the day before the election.
Note: NO ABSENT VOTER BALLOTS WILL BE SUPPLIED THROUGH A TELEPHONE REQUEST. THEY MUST BE REQUESTED IN WRITING!
Can I find out if I am registered to vote?
Registration records are currently held by the City, Township and Village Clerks.
Who represents me?
What if I am in the Military?