Absentee Voter’s Ballot Information
(Michigan Election Law 168.758, 168.759, 168.761, 168.764a) (Synopsis)
An Absent Voter means a qualified and registered elector who meets one or more of the following requirements:
- I am 60 years of age or older
- I expect to be absent from the community in which I am registered for the entire time the polls are open on Election Day.
- I am physically unable to attend the polls without assistance of another.
- I cannot attend the polls because of the tenets of my religion.
- I have been appointed an election precinct inspector in a precinct other the precinct where I reside.
- I cannot attend the polls because I am confined to jail awaiting arraignment or trial.
A person who forges a signature on an Absentee Voter Ballot Application is guilty of a FELONY. As listed under the warning on an Absentee Application and that is written in the Michigan Election Laws (168.759(6) (8)), a person who distributes an absentee ballot application to an absent voter and then returns the absentee voter ballot application to the Clerk’s Office is guilty of a MISDEMEANOR.
An application can be returned by U.S. Mail or another possible service, personally delivered to the Clerk’s Office by the voter, by an immediate family member or a person residing in the voter’s household.
If in the event, and only if they can not return the application by the above stated methods, the voter can select another registered elector to return their application for an absentee ballot. When this procedure is done, the person returning the application must sign and date the form stating that they were authorized by the voter to return the form. Remember, the authorized person returning the application signature must be an original. No photo copied signatures will be acceptable.
Absentee Ballot Return Process:
The two forms noted as absentee ballot enclosure are attached with the ballot for instructions on how an elector is suppose to return his/her ballot. These forms are straight forward and leave nothing to question.
These forms state and cite law 168.761(3), 168.76.4a – an absentee ballot may only be returned by the following people: you can bring your ballot to the Clerk’s office or mail your ballot (postage prepaid); you can ask a family member or someone who resides in your household to bring the ballot to the Clerk’s office or have them to mail your ballot. If these choices are not possible, you can call the City Clerk for assistance of retrieving your ballot before 5: 00 p.m. on the Friday immediately preceding the election.
Please note: ANY OTHER PERSON IN POSSESSION OF AN ABSENTEE VOTER BALLOT IS GUILTY OF A FELONY, NO EXCEPTIONS. The process of requesting an absentee ballot, voting an absentee ballot and returning an absentee ballot is very plainly stated in the law and leaves nothing to a misinterpretation
of the law.
For a person other than those listed in these instructions to return, offer to return, agree to return, or solicit to return an absent voter ballot to the clerk.
For a person other than the absent voter; a person listed in these instructions; or a person whose job it is to handle mail before, during, or after being transported by a public postal service, express mail service, parcel post service, or common carrier, but only during the normal course of his or her employment to be in possession of a voted or unvoted absent voter ballot.