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Prior to any election in which the voter is eligible to vote, the East Lansing City Clerk’s Office will mail you an application for an absent voter ballot. The applications are available 75 days prior to each election. The application must be filled out and returned to the City Clerk’s Office before an absent voter ballot can be issued. The application cannot be processed without the voter’s signature.
The voter will be sent an application with either one or two upcoming election dates printed at the top of the application. Voters are asked to check the box(es) that apply to each election they would like to receive an absent voter ballot. Voters are also asked to complete the voter information section. If a voter needs their absent voter ballot sent to an address other than their current East Lansing residence, they are asked to make sure to provide that address on the application where requested. After signing and dating the completed application, it should be returned to the East Lansing City Clerk’s Office.
If a voter changes their voter registration to another jurisdiction within Michigan, the new clerk will be able to see their status through the Michigan Qualified Voter File. If that clerk does not maintain a permanent absent voter list, they must notify the voter that this service is not offered in that jurisdiction and the voter will need to request an application prior to every election.
The absent voter ballot will be mailed to the voter within 24 hours, once the absent voter application has been received. This includes receipt of the voter's signature. The ballots are received in the City Clerk’s Office approximately 45 days prior to the election. Voters are then able to vote the ballot at their leisure. When completed, voters may mail or hand deliver the ballot to the East Lansing City Clerk’s Office. All ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Those who are on the permanent absent voter list are still able to vote in person at the precincts. They can simply disregard the absentee ballot application and go to their precinct to vote on Election Day.
Voters can track the status of their absent voter ballot online by visiting Michigan.gov/vote.