Here’s How to Fill Out Your Michigan Absentee Ballot
If you are voting absentee your ballot should be arriving any day now, and if you are new at it, here are some tips on filling it out.
Up until the pandemic, I had always gone to a polling station to vote in person. I have been lucky to always have a job that would allow that visit during a workday on a Tuesday in November.
The only thing I didn't like about going to a polling station was waiting in the long line and realizing when it was my time to vote, there are not just candidates on the ballot but proposals to vote on which normally I did not research.
When the pandemic hit, I chose to use absentee voting to avoid the crowds of the polling stations plus using the machines at a time we didn't know a whole lot about COVID-19.
One thing I have learned by voting absentee is, I can better research proposals, candidates, judges, and other appointees that I am unfamiliar with.
Tips on Voting Absentee in Michigan
I received my Michigan absentee ballot in the mail earlier this week. I immediately laid it out on the counter where I had to walk by and see it every day to make sure I didn't forget about it.
When you open your envelope, make sure everything thing is there, like your ballot, secrecy sleeve, instructions, and the envelope to mail back your ballot.
If you have any questions about absentee voting, use the instructions that are inside your envelope. It walks you through everything you need to know and is pretty easy to understand. The instructions also offer contacts in case you have a question, especially when filling out a ballot for another family member who may be physically unable to do so.
A little tip that has helped me is opening the absentee ballot when I get it because there are always proposals, judges, and other appointees that I am unfamiliar with. This gives me time to research anyone or any proposal that I am unfamiliar with.
A black sharpie is the recommended tool to fill out your ballot. You can also use a black or blue Inkpen but don't use any other color choices, pencils or crayons, etc.
I know it says it on the ballot but make sure and get your votes in on both sides of the ballot.
Once you fill out your ballot, just fold it back up and put it into the secrecy sleeve. Also, do not tear any tabs off of your ballot.
Then insert your secrecy sleeve into the return envelope. This envelope does not come with pre-paid postage so make sure you put a stamp on the front.
One of the most important things about filling out your absentee ballot is signing and dating the back of your return envelope. If this is not done, your vote will not be counted.
As soon as you get your ballot completed, put the ballot in the return envelope, sign the back, and have postage on the front (I put two stamps on to make sure but check with your local postal worker because it may only require one stamp, I was just making sure since the post office wasn't open when I dropped my ballot in the mail) and immediately get your ballot in the mail. Don't wait or take the chance on your vote not counting because you waited too long to put it in the mail.
It is a really easy process and allows you to take more time with your ballot without the pressure of people waiting in line behind you.