Voting Tips and Myths
Past Felony Conviction – If you have a past felony conviction, your voting rights are restored upon release from prison.
If you are a registered voter being held in jail awaiting arraignment, you are eligible to vote by absentee ballot.
Homeless persons – If you are registering to vote but do not have a home address; you can use a street corner or a park as the address. For a mailing address, you can use a shelter, advocacy organization, or an
individual’s address who offers it to you.
Victims of domestic violence – Unlike many other states, Michigan does not have an “address confidentiality” program and voter information is public. If you are concerned about your address being on public record, check with your local city or township clerk’s office.
People with mental / physical disabilities – You will not be disqualified from voting in Michigan on the basis of a mental or physical disability.
Address / Name Change
Moving / Moved within the same city / township – You will only need to change your address. You can use the online ExpressSOS to change your address or update your driver’s license, which updates your voter registration address too.
Moving / Moved to another city or township – You will need to re-register to vote.
Name change – You will need to re-register to vote.
Don’t know if I am registered to vote – You can verify if you are registered to vote by going to the Michigan Voter Information Center at the Secretary of State’s website (https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us)
Addressing Some of the Myths
- Convicted felons cannot vote.
Not True. If you have been convicted and sentenced and are serving the sentence, you would be unable to vote. However, once you have been released from prison, your voting rights are restored.
- Persons confined to jail or prison cannot register to vote.
Not True. If you are awaiting trial or arraignment you can register to vote and vote by absentee ballot. –Our County Prosecutor confirmed this for Kalamazoo County.
- If I register to vote, I will get called for jury duty.
Not True. The driver’s license database is used to choose potential jurors. Registering to vote does not increase your chances of being chosen for jury duty.
- I have to re-register before every election when I want to vote.
Not True. Once you are registered to vote you remain registered as long as you remain in the same city or township and do not change your name.
- Absentee ballots are not always counted.
Not True. Absentee ballots are always counted. They are as good as voting in person.
- I can vote at any polling place that’s open for an election.
Not True. Each voter is assigned to a specific polling place (precinct) and that is where you must vote.
- I can wear election-related clothing/buttons to the polls.
Not True. If your clothing is election-related, you will be asked to change. If you are wearing a campaign button, you will be asked to remove it.
- I must vote an entire ballot.
Not True. You can vote for a single item on the ballot or only a select set of items and your ballot will be counted for those voted items.
- I can use a camera to take a picture of me and my ballot at the polls.
Not True. You can use a camera (or phone) to take a picture of your ballot in the polling place before submitting it to the tabulator. However, a selfie with the ballot is not permitted.