Absent Voter Ballot Information

All registered voters in Michigan have the right to vote by absent voter ballot (vote by mail).  You must be a registered voter to receive an absent voter ballot.  Your request must be in writing and submitted to the City Clerk's office.  Requests to have an absent voter ballot mailed must be received by the City Clerk no later than 5pm the Friday before the election.  You must apply for an absent voter ballot each election, even if you previously voted by absent voter ballot.


Important Dates and Deadlines for Absent Voter Ballots


OPTIONS TO APPLY FOR AN ABSENT VOTER BALLOT
You must apply for an absent voter ballot each election, even if you have previously voted by absent voter ballot. 

  • Apply online through the Michigan Voter Information Center, or
  • Use this link to download and print an Absent Voter Ballot Application, or  
  • To request an application by mail, call 248-449-9914, or
  • Apply in person at the City Clerk's office.



MILITARY AND OVERSEAS CIVILIAN/CITIZEN ABSENTEE BALLOTS

  • Use this link for an absentee ballot application specific to military and overseas civilian/citizens



RETURN YOUR SIGNED APPLICATION BY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING METHODS

  • Use the 24-hour drop box located at City Hall, or
  • Mail the application, after affixing the necessary postage, or
  • Fax the completed application to 248-349-9244, or
  • Scan or take a photo of the signed application and email it to the Clerks office, or
  • The voter or any member of the immediate family of the voter may deliver the application to the Clerk's office, or
  • In the event an applicant cannot return the application in any of the above methods, the applicant may select any registered elector to return the application.  The person returning the application must sign the Certificate of Authorized Registered Elector Returning Absentee Ballot Application found on the application form.



RETURNING AN ABSENT VOTER BALLOT

The voted ballot must be returned to the Clerk's office by 8pm Election Day.  Postmarks are not accepted.  Voters are encouraged to return their voted ballot as soon as it is completed.  Deliver your completed and signed ballot by one of the following methods:

  • Place in the City of Northville 24-hour drop box located at City Hall [recommended to avoid postal delays], or
  • Mail the ballot through US mail.  Postage is required and the postage amount is found on the instructions that accompanied your absentee ballot, or
  • The voter or any member of the voter's immediate family may mail or deliver the ballot to the Clerk's office.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ABSENTEE BALLOTS

When will I get my absentee ballot?
You can track your ballot at Michigan.gov/vote.  Click on the Am I Registered page option, and then complete the fields.  It will direct you to a page listing when your application was received and when your ballot was sent.

 

 

 

I will be out of town and my mail is being forwarded. How does this impact mailing my ballot to my Northville address?

Michigan Election Law does not allow an absentee ballot to be forwarded to a different address other than your voter registration address.  Instead, the Post Office will return the ballot to the Clerk's office.  

If you know that you will be out of town and not home to receive your mail, you should include your temporary address on the absent voter application.  The Clerk's office will mail your ballot directly to your temporary address. 



What happens after the Clerk receives my absentee ballot application?

The Clerk checks your signature on the application.  In most cases, this is the same signature that is on your driver's license or state ID.  That signature is what is linked to your voter registration and is the most up-to-date signature on file.  

If your signature is not a good likeness to the version on your voter registration or drivers license, the Clerk's office will attempt to contact you via phone, email, and/or letter.  Only the requestor may sign the application.  Election law does not allow for anyone other than the registered voter to sign their application. 

Use this link to track when the Clerk has reviewed and accepted your application and when your ballot is mailed.  

 

Is there a photo ID requirement for in-person absentee ballots?

The Photo ID Requirement applies to Absent Voters requesting to receive their ballot in person (PA 523 of 2012). This requirement does not apply to mailed absent voter ballots. 

If you do not possess acceptable photo ID, you may complete an affidavit and vote a challenged ballot.   

Having your ballot mailed removes the photo ID requirement.

What happens after the Clerk receives my voted ballot?

The Clerk checks your signature on the ballot envelope against the signature in the voter registration file.  In most cases, this is the same signature that is on your driver's license or state ID.  That signature is what is linked to your voter registration and is the most up-to-date signature on file.  

If your signature is not a good likeness to the version on your voter registration or drivers license, the Clerk's office will attempt to contact you via phone, email, and/or letter.  Only the voter may sign the ballot envelope.  Election law does not allow for anyone other than the registered voter to sign their ballot envelope.

Use this link to track when the Clerk has received, reviewed, and accepted your returned ballot.

If your ballot has a returned date noted, then ballot was received, and your signature was accepted.  Your ballot will be delivered to the Absent Voter Counting Board for processing on Election Day. 

 

How will I know if the Clerk received my voted ballot? Will it be counted on Election Day?

Use this link to track when the Clerk has received, reviewed, and accepted your returned ballot. 

If your ballot has a returned date noted, then ballot was received, and your signature was accepted.  Your ballot will be delivered to the Absent Voter Counting Board for processing on Election Day. 

Why did I receive multiple absentee ballot applications in the mail?

You may receive multiple Absentee Ballot Applications in the mail because political parties, interest groups, candidates, and individuals are allowed to print and distribute absentee ballot applications.  The Clerk's office has no control over other groups and individuals distributing absentee ballot applications. 

These are simply applications, not actual ballots.  A voter must complete, sign, and return the application to the Clerk's Office before a ballot is issued and mailed.  You will only receive one ballot no matter how many applications you receive. 

Why do I have to apply for an absentee ballot each election?
Whether voting in person on Election Day or voting by absentee allot, every voter must complete an application each election.  

Absentee ballot applications are used to ensure that the voter requesting a ballot by mail is who they say they are.  The application requires personal information and the voter's signature.  The signature is verified using your voter registration data in the State of Michigan's Qualified Voter File.  
I am on the Automatic Application List. Why do I have to fill out a new application for every election?
The Automatic Application List ensures that you will be mailed an application for an absentee ballot.  You must sign and return the application each election that you want to receive an absentee ballot.  

To be added to the Automatic Application List, click here to complete the form, and return it to the City Clerk.

This list ensures you will be mailed an application for an absentee ballot prior to each election.  You must sign and return the application each election that you want to receive an absentee ballot. 
I made a mistake on my ballot or I never received my ballot. What do I need to do?

Spoiled Ballots, or Made a Mistake on your Ballot
If you made a mistake on your ballot, do not attempt to correct it.  The City Clerk's office will need your spoiled ballot AND a written, signed statement.  Click here for the Spoiled Ballot Affidavit form.  The form is also available at the Clerk's office.  The Clerk's office will spoil (void) your ballot and a new ballot will be issued. 

Click here to view important dates for absentee voters.  If the deadline to receive a replacement absentee ballot has passed, you can still vote in person at your polling place on Election Day.  Take your spoiled ballot to your polling place on Election day, and surrender your spoiled absentee ballot to the poll workers.  The poll workers will then issue you a precinct ballot to vote at your polling place. 

Lost Ballot or Did Not Receive My Ballot
Each election that you want to vote by absentee ballot, you must first apply for the ballot.  If you applied for this election and did not receive the ballot, or you lost the ballot, you can receive a replacement ballot.  Click here for the Lost Ballot Affidavit form.  The form is also available at the Clerk's Office.  The Clerk's office will void the lost ballot and a new ballot will be issued. 

Click here to view important dates for absentee voters.  If the deadline to receive a replacement absentee ballot has passed, you can still vote in person at your polling place on Election Day.   Please allow yourself extra time to vote as the poll workers will give you an Election Day affidavit, and call the City Clerk's office to verify you have not voted and returned your absentee ballot.  Once this process is completed, the poll workers will issue you a precinct ballot to vote at your polling place


I received my ballot and have now decided that I want to go to the polls. What do I need to do?
On Election Day, bring your absentee ballot to your polling place.  You will surrender your absentee ballot to the poll workers.  The poll workers will then issue you a precinct ballot to vote at your polling place. 

If you do not have your absentee ballot, you will experience a slight delay at your polling place.  First, you will have to complete an Affidavit attesting that you did not vote your ballot.  Then the poll workers must call the City Clerk's office to verify you have not voted and returned your absentee ballot. 

Once this process is completed, the poll workers will issue you a precinct ballot to vote at your polling place. 
I returned my voted ballot to the Clerk. Can I change my vote?

If a voter has already voted and returned their absentee ballot and wishes to change their vote (because the candidate has dropped out of the race, OR for any other reason), a voter can spoil their ballot by submitting a written request to their City or Township Clerk. 

  • The voter must sign the request and state if they would like a new absentee ballot mailed to them or if they will pick it up in person at the clerk’s office.
  • This request must be received by 5 p.m. the Friday before the election if the new ballot is to be mailed.
  • An absentee ballot that has been returned to the clerk may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 10 a.m. the Monday prior to the election.
  • An absentee ballot that has not been returned to the clerk may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 4 p.m. the Monday prior to the election.
  • If a voter has not returned his or her ballot, the voter can surrender the ballot or sign a statement stating that the ballot was lost or destroyed and vote at the polls.
  • There is no option on Election Day to spoil an absentee ballot that has been received by the clerk.






If you already returned your voted ballot to the Clerk's Office, and want to change your vote, you can do so by 10am the Monday prior to Election Day.  You will need to come to the Clerk's Office in person to complete the process. 

Bring your photo ID. After verifying your identity, and completing an affidavit, the Clerk's office will retrieve and void your voted ballot.  A new ballot will be issued. 

Please note this option expires at 10am the Monday prior to Election Day. 
How do I apply for an Accessible Absentee Ballot?

Voters with print disabilities may apply for an accessible electronic absent voter ballot that can be completed electronically, printed, and returned to the local clerk.

To apply online for an accessible electronic absent voter ballot, click 
here.

Does Michigan have "early voting?" Does Michigan have "vote by mail"?
At this time, Michigan Election Law does not offer voters the opportunity to vote early and insert their ballot directly into the tabulator.  

Instead in Michigan, "early voting" AND "vote by mail" is done by absentee ballot.  Click here to view more information about voting by absentee ballot. 
Is there a difference between an absentee ballot and a ballot issued at the precinct on Election Day?
Absentee ballots are the same paper ballot as a ballot issued at the polling place on Election Day.  Absentee ballots are processed by an Absent Voter Counting Board and those ballots are tabulated the same as ballots voted at the polling place on Election Day.  
Are all absentee ballots counted, or are they only counted if it is a close race?
All valid absentee ballots are counted at EVERY ELECTION.   

The Absent Voter Counting Board (AVCB) is the board of poll workers that processes and tabulates the absentee ballots on Election Day.   Just like the polling places, the AVCB uses a scanner to tabulate the absentee ballots.  The ballots have to be counted and balanced. 

The County Board of Canvassers will canvass the election to verify that all totals are accurate and all valid absentee ballots were counted. 
Can I vote Straight Party and also vote for a candidate from a different party?
Your ballot comes with complete voting instructions and an "I Voted" sticker.  

In the partisan section of a General Election ballot, you can vote a straight ticket, a split ticket, or a mixed ticket.

Please note that voting a straight ticket and also voting for individual candidates of your choice, even if from the same party as the straight ticket, does not spoil your ballot.

Do not vote for more candidates than indicated under each office title.
I forgot to use the secrecy sleeve when I returned my voted absentee ballot. Will my ballot still be counted?
The buff colored secrecy sleeve provided with your absentee ballot is optional, and not using it does not invalidate your ballot. The ballot will still be counted on Election Day.