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Elections

One of the fundamental rights of our democracy is the right to vote. Any U.S. citizen who is at least age 18 on Election Day is eligible.

But before you can cast a ballot, you must register. Voter registration forms are available at any Secretary of State office, online at Michigan.gov/elections or from your local clerk. ­ This outlines what you need to know about registering to vote and voting. This election year, make sure your voice is heard – register and vote!

TO REGISTER

To register to vote, you must be:

«  A U.S. citizen;

«  At least 18 years old by Election Day;

«  A resident of Michigan and the city or township where you are applying to register to vote.

How: You can register to vote for federal, state and local elections by mail; at your county, city or township clerk’s office; or by visiting any Secretary of State office. In addition, agencies providing services through the Department of Human Services, the Department of Community Health and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs officer voter registration services to their clients. Military recruitment centers also provide voter registration services.  You may also register at the same time you renew your driver’s license by mail. Eligible drivers receive a voter registration application in the mail with their driver’s license renewal information.

Voter ID Requirement: If you are registering to vote in person, state law requires you to either show picture ID or sign an affidavit attesting that you are not in possession of picture ID. See the “Voter ID Requirement” section under the “TO VOTE” information later in this brochure for a list of acceptable picture ID documents.

When: You must register at least 30 days before the election. ­This gives the clerk time to process the forms and send you a Voter Identification Card.Back To Top

Change of Address: If you move within a city or township, you must update your address. ­ This can be handled through your local clerk, at a Secretary of State office, online at ExpressSOS.com, by mail or at any other location where voter registrations are accepted. Whenever you move to a new city or township, you must re-register to vote. The residential address used for your voter registration must be the same as the address on your driver’s license. Consequently, when you submit a driver’s license address change, it will be applied to your voter registration. Similarly, when you submit a voter registration address change, it will be applied to your driver’s license.

For First Time Voters: If you have never voted in Michigan and register by mail, you must appear in person to vote in the first election in which you wish to participate.

This requirement does not apply if:

(1)   you personally hand deliver the mail-in registration form to your county, city or township clerk’s office (instead of mailing the form),

(2)   you are age 60 or older, you are disabled, or

(3)   you are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

If you have never voted in Michigan and register by mail, you also may be subject to identification requirement provided under federal law. ­The identification requirements are explained on the mail-in registration form.

Voter in the Military or Outside the United States: A Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) form can be used to register. ­ The FPCA form is available online at fvap.gov from the Federal Voting Assistance Program and is distributed through U.S. embassies and military bases. A Michigan resident who moves and registers out of state may not re-register to vote in Michigan until he or she re-establishes residency here.Back To Top

TO VOTE:

To Vote simply appear at your assigned polling place on Election Day. ­The polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Where: Your Voter Identification Card lists your precinct number and your assigned polling place location. If you do not receive your card within three weeks after registering, contact your city or township clerk’s office to confirm your registration status. You also may check your status online at the Michigan Voter Information Center at Michigan.gov/vote.

Niles City Residents Vote in the Following Locations:

Ward 1/Precinct 1

Niles Senior High School

1441 Eagle

Ward 2/Precinct 2

Eastside Connection School

315 N. 14th Street

Ward 3/Precinct 3

Niles Fire Station

1345 East Main

Ward 4/Precinct 4

Westside School

111 Spruce

Voter ID Requirement: When you arrive at your polling place to vote, state law requires you to either show picture ID or sign an affidavit attesting that you are not in possession of picture ID. You can satisfy the ID requirement by showing a Michigan driver’s license or state ID card. If you do not possess either document, you may show any of the following forms of picture ID as long as it is current: driver’s license or ID card issued by another state, a federal or state government-issued photo ID, a U.S. passport, a military ID card with a photo, a tribal ID card with a photo or a student ID with a photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education. If you do not bring a picture ID to the polls or do not own picture ID, you can vote like any other voter by signing an affidavit that will be provided to you.Back To Top

Absentee Ballot: Absentee ballots are available for all elections. You may vote by absentee ballot if you:

«  Are unable to attend the polls without assistance;

«  Are age 60 or older;

«  Expect to be absent from your city or township for the entire time the polls are open on Election Day;

«  Are in jail awaiting arraignment or trial;

«  Have been assigned to work as a precinct inspector in a precinct other than where you are registered; or

«  Are unable to attend the polls because of religious beliefs.

If any of these situations exist, you can obtain an absentee ballot by writing your city or township clerk. You must state the reason why you need an absentee ballot and you must sign the request. A preprinted absentee ballot application form is available from your city or township clerk upon request. Application forms also are available online at Michigan.gov/elections.

Send the completed application to your city or township clerk. Find contact information for your city or township clerk online at the Michigan Voter Information Center at Michigan. gov/vote.

Voters in the Military and Outside the United States:

A Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) also can be used to apply for an absentee ballot if you are a military voter, a spouse or dependent of a military voter, or outside the United States. The law also permits such voters to receive their ballot electronically via email or fax. For more information available online, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program at fvap.gov or the Michigan Bureau of Elections at Michigan.gov/elections.

Absentee Ballot Deadline:
If you want an absentee ballot mailed to you, your application must be received by 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election. Make your request early to allow for delivery time. A voter eligible to vote by absentee ballot also may vote in person at the clerk’s office any time up to 4 p.m. the day before the election. All absentee ballots must be received by the clerk’s office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you know before the August primary that you will be unable to vote in person at the November general election, you may request absentee ballots for both the August primary and November general election at the same time.Back To Top

Emergency Absentee Ballot:
You may be eligible for an emergency absentee ballot if a family death or illness requires you to leave your community on Election Day, or you are unable to attend the polls because of personal illness or accident. The emergency must have occurred late enough that you could not file a regular absentee ballot request. Have someone deliver your written request for an emergency absentee ballot to the clerk’s office before 4p.m. on Election Day. Emergency ballots must be returned by 8p.m. on Election Day.

Voter Who Require Assistance:
Special accommodations are available for voters who are disabled. If you require voting assistance, ask the election workers for help; a reason for the needed assistance does not have to be stated. Two inspectors will assist you in the voting station. An elector who is blind, disabled, or unable to read or write may be assisted with his or her ballot by any person of the voter’s choice, other than the voter’s employer or agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of a union to which the voter belongs. A voter-assist terminal is available for use by voters who are disabled. This ballot marking device is designed to permit voters who are disabled to vote independently without the assistance of another person.  For more information, contact your city or township clerk. Hearing-impaired residents may contact the Bureau of Elections at 517-373-2540 by calling the Michigan Relay Center toll free at 1-800-649-3777.

GO MOBILE!



Use your smartphone to visit the Michigan Voter Information Center to view your sample ballot, check your registration status and find your polling location with this QR code.

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