Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today that military and overseas voters will have their ballots sent to them this week if they’ve requested them. The Bureau of Elections has reminded all 1,520 city and township clerks that these ballots must be sent no later than tomorrow.
“Ensuring that our military members and voters overseas have a voice in our elections is a vital part of our democracy,” Johnson said. “Our fantastic local clerks are aware of this and are working hard to ensure that every eligible person who wants a ballot receives one.”
Under state and federal law, ballots for military and overseas voters must be sent 45 days ahead of the election if one was requested.
Military personnel and overseas citizens and their families can obtain voting and registration information at www.Michigan.gov/sos or www.FVAP.gov. Ballots may be sent to the voter via postal mail as well as by email or fax if the voter prefers. The ballots must be returned by mail by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6. All absentee ballot requests received since Nov. 7, 2017 from a military or overseas voter must be honored for all 2018 elections.
All voters can visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.Michigan.gov/vote site to view the candidates and questions that will be on their ballot.
As secretary of state, Johnson has successfully pushed for improvements in how military and overseas voters cast ballots, including:
- Expansion of the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot for overseas military and their families to allow votes for state and local candidates and ballot questions. Voters who use the ballot return it by mail to the appropriate clerk.
- An electronic ballot issuance system that allows clerks to easily email ballots to overseas and military voters. This move can save as much as two weeks in arrival and response times. More than 4,500 ballots were issued this way for the November 2014 election and more than 21,500 for the November 2016 election.
- An online ballot tracker – at www.Michigan.gov/vote [links.govdelivery.com] – that allows voters to check on their absentee ballot status and provides clerk contact information and sample ballots.
- Changes to state law to allow ballots cast from military and overseas voters to be counted after Election Day if the ballot was not sent out by the deadline.