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Michigan Primary Election 2020 on Aug. 4: Everything you need to know

Michigan holds its primary next Tuesday (Aug. 4), amid an unprecedented pandemic and changes in Michigan law that have brought a deluge of requests for absentee ballots.
Polling places will be open, however, for those who want to vote in person.
At stake this fall: all 14 of Michigan’s U.S. House seats, one Senate seat and 110 state House seats, plus key races for prosecutor and other top county jobs, as well as elections munity level.
>> Use our Detroit Free Press voter guide to see who’s on your ballot
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Here’s an FAQ with everything you need to know to get ready.
Yes. Under changes in Michigan law, every registered voter is allowed to request an absentee ballot for any reason. At this late date, it’s probably best to go in person to your local clerk’s office to request the ballot – you have until 4 p.m. on the day before the election to do this.


Polling places open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. If you’re in line by 8 p.m., you’re legally still allowed to vote.


Yes. Although some clerks have had issues finding enough poll workers, precincts should be open on Election Day. Contact your local elections official if you have questions about where you should vote.


No, that happened in March. This primary is for essentially any other partisan offices in Michigan, including national, state and local elected positions.


You do not. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order does not require masks at polling places. But she recommends people either vote by mail or wear a facial covering if they decide to cast a ballot in person.


Whitmer weighed making masks at the polls mandatory. But ultimately, she said there were some legal concerns about infringing on a person’s right to vote. The governor, secretary of state, many local clerks and doctors are still encouraging people to vote from home, or to go to the polls during a less busy time – midmorning or midafternoon – if they decide to vote in person.


That’s a difficult question to answer. Clerks in Detroit, Saginaw and other cities have indicated they are training poll workers on how to effectively sanitize everything from voting machines to the pens used to cast a vote. While masks and social distancing is strongly encouraged for voters, it is not required. Poll workers will be wearing masks and in many jurisdictions may have masks to provide voters who need them.
You are not. Michigan allows same-day voter registration. That means up to and through Election Day, you can go to your local clerk, register and cast a ballot. But you’ll need to be eligible to vote – a U.S. citizen and Michigan resident who is at least 18 years old and not serving a jail or prison sentence – and complete an application. Registration requires bringing paperwork with you that verifies where you live. According to the Secretary of State, eligible documents include:


If you have not yet mailed in your ballot, you should seriously consider taking it to a drop box or your local clerk if you want to ensure your vote is counted. Although you are allowed to still put the completed ballot in the mail, COVID constraints are delaying the U.S. Postal Service. And recently, a Michigan court ruled clerks may only count ballots received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, even if they were mailed weeks earlier.
There’s a website for that: www.Michigan.gov/vote. After going to the site and entering personal information or your driver’s license number, you should be able to see whether your clerk received your ballot.


If the clerk has not received your ballot, you can still spoil that ballot to ensure you vote is cast.


You can do what’s known as spoiling your absentee ballot, but you need to act before Election Day.
Ordinarily, you would have the option of mailing a signed request to your local clerk that is received by 2 p.m. on the Saturday before the election. At this point, you should deliver the signed request in person to the clerk’s office by 4 p.m. on the day before the election. There is no way to spoil an absentee ballot on Election Day.
The Michigan Voter Information Center, operated b…
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