Michigan voting issues

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Election and registration information

Voter ID requirement

Due to a recent court ruling, every Michigan voter must present picture identification at the polls, or sign an affidavit attesting that he or she is not in possession of picture identification.

  • Prepare for Election Day

Remember to bring an acceptable form of photo identification to the polls on Election Day. If you don't have photo ID you can still vote (see Voting Without Photo ID below).

Your photo ID does not need to have your address on it. In addition, the name on your identification card may be a shorter form of your name. For example, "Bill" for "William" and "Kathy" for "Katherine" are acceptable.

After showing your photo ID to the poll worker and signing the application, you may cast your ballot.

  • Voting Without Photo ID

If you do not have photo ID, you can still cast a ballot simply by signing an affidavit. The affidavit can be used by:

    • Voters who have photo ID but didn't bring it to the polls

Once you sign the affidavit, you may cast your ballot. It will be counted with all other ballots on Election Day.

  • Getting a State ID Card

If you do not have a driver's license or other acceptable photo identification, you can get a state identification card at your local Secretary of State branch office for $10.

State ID cards are free to individuals who are 65 or older or who are blind. Cards are also free to those who have had driving privileges terminated due to a physical or mental condition, or who can show another good cause for the fee waiver.

Proof of identity and residency are required when applying for a state ID card.

Provisional voting

Poll workers may decide you cannot vote if they think you do not look like your photo ID. If you are told you cannot vote you can demand to vote with a provisional ballot. If you vote provisionally you have six days to bring acceptable ID to election officials.[1]

Voting machines

2008 election

For the 2008 election Michigan used the following voting machines. For a county-by-county list of the specific machines (and the source for this section) see Verified Voting's Verifier tool.

Main article: Voting machines

Optical scan machines:

Assistive Devices for Marking Paper Ballots:

Governmental election authorities

Michigan Department of State: Terri Lynn Land

Website: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1633---,00.html

Contact information:

  • Mailing address: Michigan Department of State, Lansing, MI 48918
  • Department of State Information Center toll-free number: (888) SOS-MICH; (888) 767-6424
  • Media inquiries should contact the Office of Communications at (517) 373-2520

Election threats

  • On voter registration, Mass voter roll purges are investigated in a report by Greg Palast of BBC. Common Cause reports that Michigan's registration system and student voting preparedness is "mixed" and reports that NVRA implentation is "inconclusive." A Brennan study says the absentee voting system is "very restrictive."
  • On voter education, Common Cause warns that the sample ballot is "mixed."
  • On absentee and early voting, ... (needs information)
  • On voter suppression and intimil challenger system is "unsatisfactory."
  • On polling places and voting, Common Cause says the worker recruitment system sand voting machine distribution are "unsatisfactory" and voter ID requirements are "inconclusive."
  • On provisional ballots,... Common Cause warns that the system of eligibility verification is "mixed" and the system for ballots cast in the wrong precinct is "unsatisfactory."
  • On vote verification and security,... (needs information)
Main article: Michigan election threats

State and local non-governmental election organizations

League of Woman Voters

LWV of Michigan, Jessica Reiser, President

  • 8200 Museum Drive, Suite 104
  • Lansing, MI 48933-1997
  • Phone: 517-484-5383
  • Fax: 517-484-3086
  • E-mail: office@lwvmi.org
  • http://www.lwvmi.org/

Local Leagues:

Michigan Election Reform Alliance

Description: The Michigan Election Reform Alliance (MERA) is a non-profit, non-partisan, pro-democracy, grassroots organization dedicated to the realization of election processes that consistently uphold the principles of democracy to ensure the confidence of voters and maximize representation of all citizens of the United States of America.[2]

Contact information:


Articles and resources

See also


  1. Information on Michigan's provisional voting rules is difficult to find. This information comes from "Michigan voters beware: Secretary of State’s voter ID ruling inspires mistrust", Michigan Messenger, September 2, 2008.
  2. From MERA website About page. Retrieved September 17, 2008.

External resources

Poll location

Election Protection hotlines

Voting information

Voting rights

Voting requirements

Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials

Absentee voting

Disabled voters

Student voting rights

State ballot

  • See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.


  • Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español

Voting machines

Election law

Voter Protection Laws in A Nutshell

Voter ID Toolkit

Verify registration

External articles