Reference Desk Include

Absent voter ballots play an important role in elections

BallotsWhat are the two most common reasons that people in the City of Northville request an absent voter ballot? Choose among the following six statutory reasons:

  • age 60 years old or older
  • unable to vote without assistance at the polls
  • will be out of town on election day
  • in jail awaiting arraignment or trial
  • unable to go to the polls due to religious reasons
  • appointed to work as an election inspector outside of your precinct of residence.

The two most common reasons are: being out of town on election day and/or being 60 years or older, according to City Clerk Dianne Massa.

Voters can submit a request for an absent voter ballot up to 75 days before an election. The application for the primary election allows voters to request an absent voter ballot for the general election. This saves time because voters don’t have to submit two applications.

With many baby boomers now 60 years or older, more people qualify for an absent voter ballot.

“People cannot pick up a ballot for a spouse or a person they may be caring for, even if they are in the hospital or a nursing home,” Northville City Clerk Massa said. “There is only one ballot per voter and that individual may pick it up in person or the ballot will be mailed.

When an emergency, such as a sudden illness or family death, prevents a registered voter from going to the polls on election day, that individual may request an emergency absent voter ballot. The request must be submitted after the regular absent voter ballot deadline has passed (the emergency must have made it impossible to meet that deadline) and before 4 p.m. on election day.

City Hall will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, for absent voter ballot purposes only. Requests for an absent voter ballot must be received by the City of Northville clerk no later than 2 p.m. that day.

If an individual obtains an absent voter ballot the Monday before the election – for the primary, that’s Aug. 1 by 4 p.m., they must vote the absent voter ballot at City Hall that day. They can't take it home to study it. The ballot can’t leave the office.

For those who think they may need an absent voter ballot, the sooner they get it, the more options they have. They can either mail it back, cast their ballot at City Hall or hand deliver it by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, to city hall. Those who register to vote by mail must vote in person at the next election they participate in before they are eligible to vote by mail, unless they are 60 years or older, disabled or overseas, or were previously registered to vote in Michigan.

Absent voter ballots must be sealed and signed in order to be counted. The city clerk often has to mail back envelopes containing absent voter ballots because they lack a signature.



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