GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4)- Michigan’s Nov. 8 general election will decide races for governor, U.S. House and for seats in the state legislature. The state’s primary was Aug. 2.

A voter casts a ballot at a polling place in Detroit.

Essential info:

  • Absentee voting: All registered voters can request a no-excuse absentee ballot and vote from home in November’s general election.
  • Early in-person voting: You can vote early and in person by going to your local election clerk’s office and filling out an absentee ballot. Early voting starts on Thursday, Sept. 29.
  • Voting in person on Election Day: The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., but you’ll still be allowed to vote if you are in line by 8 p.m.

What races are on the ballot and who’s running?

What’s new this year?

As a result of redistricting, Michigan officials last year redrew legislative districts for the state House and Senate and U.S. Congress. To find your legislative district and polling location, visit, enter your voter information and select “View voting district information.”

How do I register to vote?

You can check if you’re registered to vote through the state’s voter information portal.

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Any registered voter can request a no-excuse absentee ballot and vote from home in November’s general election.

You can apply for an absentee ballot online, by mail or in person: 

  • Online: Fill out an absentee ballot request form on the Michigan secretary of state’s website. You have until Friday, Nov. 4, at 5 p.m. to submit your request online.
  • By mail: Download, print and complete a ballot application from the state’s voter information portal. The application must be received by your local election clerk’s office no later than Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. You can also call your clerk’s office and ask that they mail you a ballot application.
  • In person: Visit your local election clerk’s office to pick up and complete an application or return a completed form you downloaded from the state’s voter information portal. If you’re already registered to vote at your current address, you can request a ballot in person up until Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. Otherwise, you have until Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. to request a ballot be mailed to you.

Return completed ballots by mail or in person. You can return someone else’s ballot if you’re their immediate family member, someone who lives in their household, a mail carrier or an authorized election official. Election officials must receive ballots by Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.

  • By mail: Sign and seal your completed ballot and mail it to your local election clerk’s office. But if you’re returning your ballot within two weeks of Election Day, officials recommend filling out the application in person at your local election clerk’s office to avoid potential postal delays.
  • In person: Drop off your completed ballot at your local clerk’s office or at a secure drop box, once the state releases locations for the 2022 elections.

Use the state’s voter portal to track the status of your absentee ballot. 

In the event of an emergency, such as an unexpected illness or death in the family, you may be able to request an emergency absentee ballot by contacting your local election clerk’s office before 4 p.m. on Election Day.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, starting on Sept. 29, you can vote early and in person by going to your local election clerk’s office and filling out an absentee ballot in person. Hours of operation may vary, so contact your election clerk’s office to find out when to cast your ballot.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You will still be able to cast a ballot after 8 p.m. as long as you were in line before the polls closed. Use the state’s voter information portal to find a polling place near you. 

Do I need identification to vote?

If you are voting in person, you’ll be asked to show an acceptable form of ID, like a state driver’s license or U.S. passport. If you forget or don’t have an ID, you’ll be allowed to vote but will need to fill out additional paperwork to verify your identity and explain why you don’t have the necessary documents.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Sept. 19 with more information about voting in the general election. The guide was first published on July 30, 2020.

(Sponsored by AARP Michigan)