State - Voter registration deadline approaches

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land reminds residents that Tuesday, July 6 is the last day to register to vote for the Aug. 3 primary election.

"This is an important election year in Michigan with many state, federal and judicial seats on the ballot," said Land, the state's chief election officer. "As always, your vote is your voice. If you are not yet registered to vote, I encourage you to do so and then cast your ballot on Election Day."

To register, applicants must be at least 18 years old by Election Day and be U.S. citizens. Applicants must also be residents of Michigan and of the city or township in which they wish to register.

Voters may register by mail; at their county, city or township clerk's office; or by visiting any Secretary of State branch office. The mail-in form is on the Department of State Web site at www.Michigan.gov/sos. First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person in their first election, unless they hand-deliver the application to their local clerk, are 60 years old or older, are disabled, or are overseas.

To check their registration status, residents may visit the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.Michigan.gov/vote. Residents can also find information on voting by absentee ballot, Michigan's voter identification requirement, using voting equipment and contacting their local clerk. In addition, they will find a map to their local polling place and a sample ballot.

Voters who qualify may choose to cast an absentee ballot on Election Day. As a registered voter, you may obtain an absentee ballot if you are:

* age 60 or older

* unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another

* expecting to be out of town on Election Day

* in jail awaiting arraignment or trial

* unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons

* appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

Those who wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail must submit their application by 2 p.m. Saturday, July 31. Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 2. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, Aug. 2 must vote the ballot in the clerk's office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on Election Day.

Residents are reminded of the voter identification requirement when at the polls on Election Day. They will be asked to present photo ID, such as a Michigan driver's license or identification card. Anyone who does not have an acceptable form of photo ID or failed to bring it with them to the polls can still vote. They will sign a brief affidavit stating that they're not in possession of photo ID. Their ballots will be included with all others and counted on Election Day.

Voters who don't have a Michigan driver's license or identification card can show the following forms of photo ID, as long as they are current:

* Driver's license or personal identification card issued by another state

* Federal or state government-issued photo identification

* U.S. passport

* Military identification card with photo

* Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, such as a college or university

* Tribal identification card with photo.

Additional election information can be found at www.Michigan.gov/sos.

Published: Tue, Jul 6, 2010

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