2016 Michigan Election Guide
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I register to vote?
First, you must determine that you are eligible to vote. You are qualified to vote if:
- You are a citizen of the United States
- You are at least 18 years of age on or before the next regularly scheduled election.
- You have been a resident of the State of Michigan for at least 30 days prior to the election.
- You have registered on or before the close of registration preceding the election.
How is residence determined?
- By law, residence is where you habitually sleep, keep your personal belongings, and have your regular place of lodging.
- You MAY NOT register at your business address.
- Military service members and United States Government employees and their families living outside of the U.S. may register at their last legal residence within the U.S.
What is the "Close of Registration"?
The last day to register before an election occurs at 5:00 p.m. on the 30th day preceding the election.
Do I need to declare a party preference when I register?
Does everyone have to register in order to be eligible to vote?
Where do I register to vote?
You can register to at any of the following offices
- ANY Secretary of State Branch Office for Voter Registration
- With an Assistant Clerk
- Saginaw County Clerk's Office 111 S. Michigan Avenue Saginaw, MI 48602
- City Clerk City of Frankenmuth 240 W. Genesee Street Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Will I ever need to re-register?
Registration in the State of Michigan is considered permanent; however, if you move you must re-register at your new address.
Persons changing their names as the result of marriage or a legal action should report this to their local clerk by re-registering.
Where do I vote?
The polling place for City voters, also referred to as "precincts," are conveniently held at two precincts at the City and Township Government Center, 240 W. Genesee Street.
When you arrive at the polling place, a precinct inspector will ask you to fill out an Application to Vote form. A state issued picture identification or other approved identification must also be presented to election officials at that time. This will assist them in verifying your name and address as it is printed on the precinct polling list. If you are in the incorrect precinct, precinct inspectors will do everything possible to help you to find the correct precinct so you may vote.
The ballot style and type will depend on the type of election. The City uses an optical scan voting system that allows your ballot to be immediately tabulated at the precinct. The precinct inspectors will provide you with voting instructions.
How do I vote an absentee ballot?
City of Frankenmuth registered voters can obtain an absentee ballot from the City Clerk at the City office for all elections.
You may apply for an Absent Voter Ballot if any of the following conditions exist:
- You expect to be absent from the community the entire time the polls are open on election day.
- You are physically unable to attend the polls without assistance.
- You cannot attend the polls because of religious beliefs.
- You have been appointed a precinct inspector outside of your community.
- You are 60 years of age or older.
- You are in jail awaiting arraignment.
You may apply for an Absent Voter Ballot by:
- post card*
- absentee ballot application
- in person at the City office
- if you are eligible, with a Federal Postcard Application
*One or more of the above mentioned statutory conditions must be included to receive an Absent Voter ballot (i.e. name, mailing address, statutory reason for the absentee ballot request and signature).
The deadline to apply to receive an absent voter ballot by mail is 2:00 p.m. on the Saturday prior to the election. After this, you may vote an absent voter ballot in person at your local clerk's office up until 4:00 p.m.
on the day before the election.
Note: STATE LAW DICTATES THAT ABSENT VOTER BALLOTS MAY NOT BE SUPPLIED THROUGH A TELEPHONE REQUEST. THEY MUST BE REQUESTED IN WRITING!
What if I am in the military or out of the country?
If you are member of the Armed Forces, you may use the Federal Post Card Application (F.P.C.A.) to both register and to vote for an absent voter ballot. The use of this application is restricted to
- Members of the Armed Forces and their dependants
- Members of the Merchant Marines and their dependants
- U.S. citizens residing outside of the U.S
- Click here for more information
Can I find out if I am registered?
Registration records are currently on file at the City office or you may go to www.michigan.gov/vote.
Have you considered working as a precinct inspector?
By Former Secretary of State Candice S. Miller
If you’ve ever wondered how to become more active in government, there’s plenty of opportunities for you that do not involve running for elected office. Michigan has 83 counties, 273 cities, 1,242 townships, 262 villages and more than 500 school districts. During an election, each of these units of government requires a staff of paid workers to work at the polls.
Precinct inspectors are people who are paid to assist voters at the polls on election day. Registered voters interested in serving as election inspectors must submit an election inspector application to their local clerk. In addition to their name, address and date of birth, applicants must include their political party preference and qualifications to fill the position such as education or experience.
A precinct inspector must be a registered voter of the city or township. They cannot be a challenger, candidate, member of a candidate’s immediate family, or a member of the local Board of Canvassers. Anyone convicted of a felony or an elections crime may not serve.
Your city or township clerk will be able to answer any questions about how to apply to become a precinct inspector. Why not consider helping your community and becoming more politically active by becoming a precinct inspector?
Who are your election officials?
By Former Secretary of State Candice S. Miller
Making sense of Michigan’s election system can be a daunting prospect, but it isn’t difficult once you have a basic understanding of the people who make it work.
Michigan’s election system is a complex, highly decentralized system made up of 83 counties, 273 cities, 1,242 townships, 262 villages and more than 500 school districts.
The secretary of state serves as Michigan’s chief election officer, with the Bureau of Elections acting on the secretary’s behalf. The bureau is responsible for the integrity of an election by ensuring election laws are followed, training and advising 2,300 local clerks, compiling official election results and providing instructional materials.
Next are the county election officials. Counties support the election process in a number of ways. Each county has a County Elections Commission, with a chief judge of probate of the county or probate court district, the county clerk and county treasurer. The commission provides election supplies, including ballots for federal, state and county elections.
Counties receive and certify petitions for countywide offices and ballot proposals. The county also accepts campaign finance reports from local candidates and trains precinct inspectors.
The conduct of local elections and operation of polling place is handled at the city, township or school district level, depending on the nature of the election. A City or Township Election Commission determines precincts, assesses voting equipment needs, provides voting supplies and ballots for local elections. The commission is also responsible for appointing precinct inspectors.
Precinct inspectors are the workers who manage the polls on election day. They enter voters’ names in the poll book, assist with questions, distribute and collect ballots, make sure proper voting procedures are followed and help maintain the integrity of the election's process.
After you have voted in an election, the results are reviewed by the appropriate Board of Canvassers in each city, township and county. The canvassers certify election results from the jurisdiction they serve in.
Similarly, a four-member Board of State Canvassers certifies the results of all statewide offices, district offices that cross county lines and statewide ballot proposals. Once all the canvassers have met, the results are considered final.
Each Board of Canvassers consists of two Republicans and two Democrats.
Voting is an important civic duty, forming the very heart ofour democratic system. Gaining a better understanding of how the system works makes you a better-finromated voter and citizen. Voting
Voting is an important civic duty, forming the very heart of our democratic system. Gaining a better understanding of how the system works makes you a better-informed voter and citizen. Voting gives you the power to change your community, state and country for the better. Please remember to vote this year!
- Click here for a Sample Ballot!
- Virtual Tour of Voting in Frankenmuth
- Click here for an introduction to using the opitcal scan equipment at the polls and the AutoMark Terminal for voters with disablities!
Voting Information Websites: